The American vaccine manufacturer Moderna announced on Monday the construction of its first African vaccine factory in Kenya, after signing a preliminary agreement with this country which provides for the production of 500 million doses per year.
The company plans to invest $500 million in this factory, which will produce messenger RNA vaccines for the entire African continent.
“The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic over the past two years is a reminder of the work needed to ensure equitable access to care. Moderna is part of the solution,” said Stéphane Bancel, its chief executive, in a statement.
Moderna says it hopes that this factory will start distributing its Covid-19 vaccine in Africa next year.
The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has repeatedly called for equitable access to vaccines to stop the pandemic and criticized wealthy countries for withholding anti-Covid doses.