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9 Mar 2022

Moderna to build first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa

Moderna announces up to USD $500 million investment for the construction of mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Kenya, the first of its kind on the African continent. The facility will be a significant step towards vaccine equity and creating sustainable pharma growth in Africa.

The biotech announced today that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Republic of Kenya to establish a mRNA manufacturing facility, with the potential to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year for the African continent. The site could also be expanded to include fill/finish and packaging capabilities.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer at Moderna said, "with our mRNA global public health vaccine program, including our vaccine programs against HIV and Nipah, and with this partnership with the Republic of Kenya, the African Union and the U.S. Government, we believe that this step will become one of many on a journey to ensure sustainable access to transformative mRNA innovation on the African continent and positively impact public health."

While vaccine development and rollout happened in record time, distribution has been inequitable, with the majority of doses being distributed amongst high or middle income countries. WHO set a target for all countries to vaccinate 10% of their populations by the end of September 2021, but 56 countries were not able to reach this target – most of which are located in Africa.

Moderna is not the only manufacturer making strides in the region, with some innovators reluctant to share technology and expertise, WHO established the COVID mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub, bringing together a number of development partners including the CDC, African universities and vaccine manufacturer Biovac to increase domestic capacity and reduce reliance on imports.



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