Six African Countries Receive mRNA Technology

Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia became the first African countries to receive the technology needed to produce mRNA vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO). Two of the vaccines used in the fight against COVID-19 are mRNA vaccines.

Director General of WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the gift Friday in Brussels, at the EU-Africa Union summit.

“No event like the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that relying on a few companies to supply global public goods is limited and dangerous,” Tedros said. “In the medium to long term, the best way to address a health emergency and achieve universal healthcare is to significantly increase the capacity of all regions to produce the health products they need, with equal access as their primary goal.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a statement on COVID-19 vaccination during the European Union - African Union Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022. (REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool)

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a statement on COVID-19 vaccination during the European Union – African Union Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, February 18, 2022. (REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Pool)

More than 80 percent of the population on the African continent has not received a single dose of the COVID vaccine. “Much of this inequality is driven by the fact that globally, vaccine production is concentrated in a few mostly high-income countries,” said Tedros.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports that it has received documents that say the Biden government will spend more than $250 million to 11 African countries for a coronavirus vaccine campaign. The countries selected to receive “intensive support” were: Angola, Ivory Coast, Eswatini – formerly known as Swaziland, Ghana, Lesotho, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported Friday morning that it has recorded more than 420 million global COVID cases and nearly 6 million deaths so far. The center said that 10.3 billion doses of the vaccine had been administered. [uh/ab]