Kenya plans to build vaccine factory within six months

Kenya intends to establish a vaccine manufacturing factory in Embakasi, Nairobi, over the next six months.

President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that the company, known as Kenya Biovax Limited, will aid in the country’s access to vaccines.

“By Easter next year, the Ministry of Health should be operationalizing this enterprise to manufacture vaccinations in our country,” he remarked during his Mashujaa Day (heroes) address.

Kenya wants to establish full-fledged vaccine production capabilities by 2024, according to the National Covid-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the inadequacy of vaccine production facilities in Kenya and other African countries, leaving the region vulnerable to vaccine shortages. So yet, just around 1% of Africa’s population has been properly immunized against coronavirus.

Kenya Biovax is anticipated to be a fill-and-finish facility, where vials with vaccinations will be filled and packed for delivery. Many pharmaceutical companies outsource this final production procedure to third parties. These facilities package and deliver ready-made vaccinations.

The Nairobi facility will be erected in the Embakasi depot of the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa). According to the Ministry of Health, the factory will also manufacture other vaccinations such as polio drops.

Vaccine components will be imported in large quantities. The vaccinations will be manufactured, packaged in vials, labeled, and delivered at the new facility.

In May, the Health Ministry said that negotiations with Oxford AstraZeneca manufacturers were ongoing to import substantial amounts for repackaging in vials. According to the authorities, the discussions are nearly over.

The government stated that because the region is highly inhabited, the Kemsa Kitengela depot was disregarded as a potential location for the plant.

“We have gone for what we term the APIs, which are the active pharmaceutical ingredients,” said Willis Akhwale, head of the vaccines deployment group. We’ve found a partner, and we’re now under nondisclosure, so a lot of information isn’t public. We must first sign.”

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