But only a generous transfer of surplus vaccines from the rich North to the poor South can prevent an immediate catastrophe, the WHO says.
With Covid-19 surging in Africa and a large continental shortage of vaccines, South Africa has been chosen to host the World Health Organization's (WHO's) first Covid-19 messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine technology transfer hub to scale up production and access to vaccines.
This will be the first in a series of Covid mRNA vaccine technology transfer hubs that the WHO is launching around the world to boost Covid-19 vaccine supplies.
It will be established by a South African consortium comprising the companies Biovac and Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines and a network of universities, partnering with the WHO and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The South African consortium was chosen from a list of about 20 companies or consortiums which wanted to receive technologies, while about 20 companies offered their technologies to be manufactured by the hub.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the production of the mRNA vaccine in South Africa would help to overcome the inequality in vaccine distribution in Africa, which was still struggling with severe shortages while developed countries had surpluses....