The Senegalese government has expressed willingness to support the world renowned biomedical research centre the Pasteur Institute to manufacture vaccines against coronavirus by early 2022. By Ibrahima Dione
Africa has been left behind in the race for a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
This observation has prompted Senegal, in collaboration with France, Team Europe, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other partners, to initiate an alternative project.
“The Pasteur Institute of Dakar has an experience to capitalise on to build a regional production according to a strategy that will require the coordination of the African Union (AU) through (its public health agency) Africa CDC,” Senegal’s Health Minister, Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said Monday.
He was speaking at the opening of the Africa CDC Virtual Conference on “Expanding Vaccine Production in Africa.”
Even though the virus has already caused more than 115,000 deaths, the African continent is still lagging behind in the vaccination campaign.
To reverse this trend according to Sarr, Senegal intends to continue “the promising discussions initiated with South Africa and remains open to other collaborators in a spirit of respectful partnership and exchange between peers.”
He also invited the world to “rethink production models” for vaccines so that “global access becomes a reality.”
After all, Sarr hopes that the two days of reflection organised by Africa CDC will be an opportunity to “put forward all the solutions that the African continent can offer to global production.”
Finally, the Health Minister called for the worldwide sharing of “intellectual property” and “the rapid and efficient transfer of technologies” relating to the pandemic that is crippling the planet.
“This is not only a matter of equity of access but also a priority for global health so that each continent contributes its fair share to the health and security of all,” he concluded.