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Africa seeks 'continental capacity' to produce vaccines

A woman receives first jab of Covid-19 vaccine at King Faisal hospital in Kigali, Rwanda.   -  
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Health

Africa will need a ''continental capacity'' to produce covid-19 vaccines, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the continent tries to vaccinate more of its 1.3 billion people, Director of the Africa’s CDC says five African nations appear to have the capacity to produce vaccines.

"It is so important for us as a continent to have that because we truly don't know what these vaccines would do in terms of the longevity of immunity. So if it happens that the immunity wins after two years or so, then it means we need regular, additional vaccination or boosting and that will require that we have a continental capacity", Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Dr. Nkengasong mentioned South Africa, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt.

He said a meeting is planned for April 12 between the African Union and outside partners to create a roadmap to boost African capacity to produce vaccines.

At least 22 of Africa’s 54 countries have received Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX program.

The continent has set a target of vaccinating at least 60% of its people.