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Renson Mwakandana

After Germany-based pharmaceutical BioNTech began building on the facility to house its two modular container prototypes in Rwanda on Thursday, the nation seeks to begin producing Covid-19 vaccinations the coming year.

The mRNA technology utilized for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used by the BioNTainers to create 50 million doses annually.

By the end of the year, Rwanda will get the containers, and in about 12 to 18 months after installation, production should start.

The factory would be an important milestone in eliminating vaccination disparity, Rwandan President Paul Kagame stated during the groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday at the Kigali Special Economic Zone.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame, BioNTech co-founder, and CEO Ugur Sahin, and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo among other officials during the groundbreaking ceremony of the first mRNA vaccine plant in Kigali /Reuters/

One of the containers, according to BioNTech, will create mRNA vaccines, while the other will create compounded bulk medicinal items. There are plans to produce vaccinations against TB and malaria in the same facility.

The modular systems are made up of 12 shipping containers that house the same tools and manufacturing processes as the company’s factory.

The Kigali factory is the world’s first production base for mRNA technology; Senegal and South Africa will soon put-upcomparable facilities. The ability to create mRNA vaccines will be provided to Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tunisia.

Just four months after introducing the BioNTainer idea in February, Prof. Ugur Sahin, the CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, announced, “We have reached the next milestone with the construction start of the first African mRNA manufacturing facility based on our BioNTainers – just four months after we introduced the BioNTainer concept in February.”

Prof. Ugur Sahin, the CEO, and co-founder of BioNTech /Forbes/

He continued by saying that the facility will have the first sustainable capacity for the manufacturing of mRNA therapeutics in an African network.

He stated that: “The goal we pursue together with governments and regulatory authorities is to produce vaccines for Africa here with highly skilled professionals from Africa,”

About 100 employees who will be managing manufacturing, along with all related laboratory and quality assurance responsibilities on site, will be trained more quickly, according to BioNTech, who will collaborate with colleagues from its German facilities. Twenty local employees will also get training.

WHO estimates that nearly all vaccinations given in Africa are imported. The construction of the new vaccine production facilities will drastically lessen the continent’s reliance on imports.

The WHO set up its worldwide mRNA technology transfer center last year to solve supply issues and raise immunization rates in underdeveloped nations.

WHO mRNA technology transfer center was set up last year to solve supply issues and raise immunization rates in underdeveloped nations /VOA/
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