Advancing vaccine production in Rwanda

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Three countries in Africa are being considered for regional vaccine production, the World Bank International Finance Corporation has declared. The three states include South Africa, Senegal, and Rwanda where investment towards setting up vaccine production is at an advanced stage.   Why is this necessary now?  When Covid-19 struck the continent and governments rushed to bring in vaccines to manage the global health crisis, the roll out of vaccines within the continent was marred by delays, scarcity and uncertainties.   In Kenya for instance, when the first consignment came in, there was a wave of uncertainty that swept across the country especially because the government could not ascertain the availability of the second dose of the vaccine. However, 358,700 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine have just been received in Nairobi in a bid to help the government administer the vaccines to the population and manage the crisis.  Meanwhile Zimbabwe has run out of vaccines as the Covid-19 crisis continues to bite. In Tanzania, after months of denial of the existence of the virus in the country, the government has now moved to order the Covid-19 vaccines to combat the pandemic as the third wave continues to hit parts of the continent.   Africa is moving with speed to fast-track acquisition of vaccines and address the urgent demand to avoid a third wave.   

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Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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