South African company hired to crack Moderna's secret Photograph:( WION )
The company is planning to develop a technology transfer hub to ensure that manufacturers from all over the world can come together to celebrate and help citizens of their country
Majority of the first-world and rich countries have managed to fully vaccinate at least half of its population against coronavirus. However, the whole continent of Africa has only been able to vaccinate five per cent of the total population.
All over the world, nearly six billion doses of Covid vaccines have been administered but only 50 million people have been vaccinated in Africa. One main reason behind this huge difference is that the continent is largely dependent on other nations for supply of vaccines.
However, Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines have now been tasked to figure out how are the mRNA vaccines against coronavirus can be made, which are somewhat similar to Moderna's Covid shots.
"We know that six billion doses of vaccines have been administered, only 50 million people in Africa have been vaccinated," Petro Terblanche, Managing Director, Afrigen Biologics (pty) Ltd told WION. "That contrast is so glaring that we as a continent can no longer ignore the facts that we are too dependent on other countries and other organiser companies outside of our own region to supply vaccines."
The company is planning to develop a technology transfer hub to ensure that manufacturers from all over the world can come together to celebrate and help citizens of their country.
This platform will take nearly two to three years to be completed. "The hub, the platform was not created only for Covid. Covid is the catalyst and is the emergency, this was created for future production of vaccines required by lower middle-income countries," Terblanche told WION. "Now, there are only about 22 vaccines that are important for the burden for disease in Africa and other lower middle-income countries. This initiative is power of the Africa manufacturing strategy to establish capacity for own vaccine manufacturing."
However, the experts are not worried about the time this development is going to take. Terblanche explained that since Covid is still evolving in form of different variants, they believe that it is still going to take some years for this pandemic to completely eradicate. So, even if it takes three years to develop, it can help people as the experts aim to develop an improved vaccine which will be, hopefully, able to fight the new variants of concern too.
She also admitted that the company has been facing a lot of pressure "about time, technology precision, regulatory requirements and around the dynamics that Moderna and Pfizer signing agreements with everyone but us," she laughed. However, she also added that the support from WHO experts and shareholders, along with the determined team makes them look at the positive side of this pressure.