Health worker pictured with COVID-19 vaccine
Senegal has become the latest addition in a list of African countries to secure the patent right to produce COVID-19 vaccines by 2022.
The development marks a positive march towards flattening the curve of the pandemic in Africa as only 7 million people out of an estimated 1.2 billion have been vaccinated.
Senegal signed a deal on Monday with Belgian biotech group UNivercells to manufacture the vaccines by next year.
The West African country joins the likes of Egypt, Morocco and South Africa in the list of African countries that have successfully secured the rights to produce the jabs.
Amplify Africa learned from multiple sources that to mark the agreement, UNivercells signed a letter of intent for collaboration with Institut Pasteur in Senegal in April.
Following the contract, UNivercells will transfer its line of production to Senegal in mid-2022.
Senegal’s Institut Pasteur holds a leading reputation in vaccine production in Africa as it is the only African facility producing a vaccine — a yellow fever shot — that is pre-qualified by the World Health Organization, which requires manufacturers to meet strict international standards.
The production process will involve the hiring of locals and once the production is fully effected, the jabs will be distributed in the West African region.
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