The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it is setting up a hub in South Africa to give companies from poor and middle-income countries the know-how and licences to produce COVID-19 vaccines, in what President Cyril Ramaphosa called an historic step to spread lifesaving technology.
The “tech transfer hub” could make it possible for African companies to begin manufacturing mRNA vaccines – the advanced technology now used in shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna – in as little as nine to 12 months, the WHO said.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement aimed at boosting access to vaccines across the African continent, where coronavirus infections and deaths increased by almost 40 percent over the past week.
“Today I am delighted to announce that WHO is in discussions with a consortium of companies and institutions to establish a technology transfer hub in South Africa,” Tedros said during a press briefing in Geneva on Monday. Aljazeera News.