The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday Nigeria and five other countries in Africa had been chosen to begin the production of COVID-19 vaccines on the continent.
The other five countries are Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
The WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, disclosed this at a media briefing in Geneva.
He said the six countries were selected as the first recipients of technology from the WHO global mRNA vaccine hub in a bid to fast-track the production of vaccines to tackle COVID-19 and other diseases in Africa.
Ghebreyesus said: “Today I’m delighted to announce the first six African countries that will receive technology from the hub to produce their own mRNA vaccines: Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
“I was honoured to visit the Hub last week. And it’s already producing results, with Afrigen’s announcement that it has produced its own mRNA vaccine, based on publicly-available information about the composition of an existing vaccine.
“We expect clinical trials to start in the 4th quarter of this year, with approval expected in 2024. We expect the benefits of this initiative will extend far beyond #COVID19 by creating a platform for vaccines against other diseases including malaria and tuberculosis.”
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