Mastercard Foundation urges world leaders to invest in vaccine safety and Africa’s independence »Capital News

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NAIROBI, Kenya September 29 – The Mastercard Foundation urged world leaders to invest in vaccine safety in Africa.

Mastercard Foundation CEO Reeta Roy said Africa already has the experience, expertise and solid plans to tackle the pandemic, but needs support.

Roy called on leaders to focus on building Africa’s medical manufacturing capacity as part of a strategy to prepare for the next biological threat.

She spoke at the COVID-19 Global Summit hosted by US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the 76e United Nations General Assembly, bringing together leaders from government, business and philanthropy to commit to a just response to the pandemic and building a stronger global pandemic preparedness architecture.

Earlier this year, the Mastercard Foundation announced that it will deploy $ 1.3 billion in partnership with the Africa CDC to tackle immunization inequalities through a joint initiative called Saving Lives and Livelihoods. As part of the initiative, the Foundation is committed to enabling continental vaccine manufacturing by investing in the skills and knowledge needed to drive manufacturing.

The African Union and Africa CDC have set a goal of ensuring that Africa can meet 60% of its vaccine demand through domestic production by 2040. In July, the African Union organized an inaugural meeting of the Partnerships for Vaccine Manufacturing in Africa, a pan-African platform dedicated to driving this agenda.

The momentum for vaccine manufacturing in Africa is growing. Earlier this year, Senegal announced a $ 200 million program to build Africa’s first COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing center, with the goal of producing 25 million doses per month by the end of 2022. Recently, BioNTech, the biotechnology giant behind the development of the Pfizer vaccine, announced that it is actively exploring the possibility of building mRNA manufacturing plants in Senegal and Rwanda. Presidents Kagame and Macky Sall hailed the stage, along with President Kagame greet him as a step towards “making end-to-end mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Africa a reality”.

Currently, less than four percent of African citizens are fully immunized – the lowest rate of any region – and supply issues continue to constrain the global immunization effort. At the same time, the increase and spread of COVID-19 variants remain of concern to public health experts around the world. As President Biden acknowledged in his inaugural address to the United Nations General Assembly: “As a global community… our own success is tied to that of others. At present, the global success in combating COVID-19 and preparing for the next pandemic is linked to that of Africa.

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