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Africa’s role in local covid vaccine production stressed during WHO visit

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The importance of building local vaccine production capacity for the African continent has been stressed during a high level visit of World Health Organization (WHO) officials.

WHO Director General Doctor Tedros Ghebreyesus and Health Minister Joe Phaahla, along with other delegates, visited Stellenbosch University’s Biomedical Research Institute on Friday afternoon.

They were visiting facilities that were collaborating to develop and build the WHO’s global mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub in South Africa.

The main aim of the WHO’s technology transfer hub is to establish a training facility that develops mRNA technology locally for the mass production of vaccines.

Stellenbosch University Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Wim de Villiers applauded the contribution of partner institutions to establish the hub in South Africa.

“We are convinced that the initiatives showcased here today will help make South Africa, our continent, the rest of the world a better place.”

Officials said the science will not only be applied for COVID-19 but can also be adapted to aid in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria.

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