African Leaders Gather in Paris to Strengthen Vaccine Production in Africa

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Yesterday in Paris, a significant milestone was reached in the global health sector. France, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) and GAVI (the Vaccine Alliance), announced a mission to raise over $1 billion to enhance vaccine production capabilities across Africa. This ambitious goal was the centerpiece of the Global Forum for Vaccine Sovereignty and Innovation, a landmark event that brought together African heads of state, health ministers, the WHO Director, and pharmaceutical industry leaders.

The forum marked the launch of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA), a pivotal initiative designed to help Africa achieve vaccine self-sufficiency. The AVMA aims to ensure that by 2040, 60% of the vaccines needed on the continent will be produced locally. This initiative is a direct response to the glaring inequities in vaccine access that were starkly highlighted during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The unveiling of the AVMA aligns with the objectives of WHO’s World Immunisation Week, which took place in April. The initiative seeks to address the critical access gaps and bolster the continent’s resilience against future pandemics. By fostering local vaccine production, Africa can reduce its dependency on international supply chains, ensuring more timely and equitable access to life-saving vaccines.

The forum underscored the urgency of building robust healthcare infrastructure and strengthening local capacities. Attendees discussed strategies for mobilizing resources, enhancing technical expertise, and fostering public-private partnerships to achieve these goals.

Read also: WHO Africa Unveils Groundbreaking Guidance to Tackle Sickle Cell Disease

The collective resolve to boost vaccine production in Africa signifies a transformative step towards health sovereignty and innovation on the continent.

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