News analysis

African nations take step towards easing reliance on selfish west for Covid vaccines

The news that six African countries are to receive the technology and equipment to produce their own mRNA vaccine is much welcomed. After the initial surge in vaccine nationalism that swept the globe, leaving many countries to fend for themselves, there is hope that the balance can be redressed.

In effect, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia have all been chosen to build vaccine production factories as part of a programme the World Health Organisation launched last year to replicate what are believed to be the most effective licensed jabs against Covid-19.

More encouragingly, the announcement comes in the same week that BioNTech, which produces the mRNA-based Pfizer vaccine, said it planned to deliver factory-like facilities built out of shipping containers to several African countries in an attempt to ramp up production on the continent.

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