African Vaccine Market

Over $1 Billion Pledged to Develop ‘African Vaccine Market’

At a summit on Thursday, pharmaceutical companies, health organizations, and world leaders committed investment of $1.2 billion to create vaccines in Africa, a continent beset by multiple health problems, including an increasing number of cholera outbreaks.

At the summit’s opening ceremony in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron declared that the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator “will be an essential step towards a genuine African vaccine market.”

Macron told the meeting, which included leaders from Botswana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Ghana in addition to visiting ministries, health organizations, and pharmaceutical companies that three quarters of the cash will come from Europe.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said via video message that Germany will be contributing $318 million to the program.

The United States, Canada, Norway, Japan, and the Gates Foundation are among the other donors. France contributed $100 million and the United Kingdom $60 million.

African Union commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat told the summit that the program “may become a catalyst for promoting the pharmaceutical industry in Africa and fostering collaboration between member states.”

“99 percent of Africa’s vaccines are imported at a hefty cost,” he continued.

The Covid-19 outbreak brought attention to the unequal distribution of vaccinations around the world since wealthier nations with large pharmaceutical companies snatched up the majority of doses, putting Africa far behind.

In order to offer Africa more sovereignty and prevent history from being repeated, the new plan seeks to relocate vaccine production to the continent.

“The pressure to hold on to your own vaccines, for your own people, is always going to be irresistible when the next pandemic hits,” British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said at the meeting, “even if our leaders in the rich Western countries are angels.”

The necessity for more regional vaccine makers has been brought to light by the recent cholera outbreaks in several African countries. The only company in the world producing the affordable and efficient vaccination doses for the fatal illness is EuBiologics, located in South Korea.

Macron declared that outbreaks of cholera were now impacting “half of Africa” and demanded that it be “consigned to the past”.

He revealed that the South African biopharmaceutical company Biovac would start a cholera vaccine production chain in Africa.

“99 percent of Africa’s vaccines are imported at a hefty cost,” he said.

One of the organizers of Thursday’s Global Forum for Vaccine Sovereignty and Innovation was the Gavi vaccine alliance, which assists in providing vaccines for over 20 different diseases to underdeveloped nations.

Gavi declared during the summit that it needs to raise $9 billion in order to finance its vaccine initiatives between 2026 and 2030.

First Lady Jill Biden announced via video message that the United States will donate $1.58 billion to the Gavi initiative, and additional pledges are anticipated later on Thursday.

“It’s an amazing accomplishment that one million children have received vaccinations since 2000,” said Jose Manuel Barroso, head of Gavi.

“A child born today has a better chance of celebrating his or her fifth birthday than ever before in history,” he said.

However, millions of kids remain unvaccinated against any disease, and he continued, “hundreds of millions more need to access to more vaccines.”

In Africa, just 2% of the vaccines that are given are produced there. By 2040, the African Union wants to increase this percentage to 60%.

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