Ramaphosa challenges COVAX to buy vaccines from local manufacturing hubs

Ramaphosa challenges COVAX to buy vaccines from local manufacturing hubs

President Cyril Ramaphosa has challenged the global vaccine distribution schemes COVAX and GAVI to purchase Covid-19 vaccines from local manufacturers.

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Ramaphosa was speaking at the World Health Organisation (WHO) conference on the announcement of the additional mRNA hubs in Africa.

Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia have been selected as the first recipients’ African countries for the technology from the WHO's global mRNA vaccine hub.

Ramaphosa said unless there is a market for African vaccine hubs, it cannot be effective.

“Organisations such as COVAX and GAVI need to commit to buy vaccines from local manufacturers. This will enhance the spirit of Africa's determination to ensure biotech sovereignty.

“Unless Africa has a vaccine market, manufacturing vaccines will soon collapse. We cannot continue being consumers of medical countermeasures for diseases produced at high prices that are not affordable to the continent.”

He further urged governments that are serious about vaccine access for all to approve the TRIPS waiver.

 “The TRIPS waiver, when approved, will ensure freedom to operate for entities with the requisite capacity and provide a platform to upgrade existing capabilities.

“In addition, it will facilitate the diversification of production to geographical regions that are currently cut out of manufacturing value chains.”


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