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Senegal to pioneer locally made Covid-19 vaccines

Image: UNAMID [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

Target is 25 million doses per month by end of 2022

An international partnership will support the production of Covid-19 vaccines in Senegal.

The partners in Europe and the United States will support the Institut Pasteur de Dakar to manufacture vaccines in Senegal against Covid-19 and future diseases, they announced on 9 July.

A vaccine production plant will be financed by Senegal’s government, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Development Agency (AFD), Germany’s economic cooperation and development ministry (BMZ), the International Finance Corporation and the US International Development Finance Corporation.

The plant will be built over the next 18 months, envisioned as a “state-of-the-art facility for the production of authorised Covid-19 vaccines”. The organisers say that the plant will be able to produce 25 million doses per month by the end of 2022.

The BMZ will provide €20 million (US$23.6m) towards setting up the manufacturing hub and AFD €1.8m for feasibility studies and technical assistance. Belgium-based biotech company Wallonia will contribute to capacity building and technology transfer.

The European Commission, the EIB, Germany and France will provide an additional €6.75m for feasibility studies and preparation for the facility at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar.

Amadou Hott, Senegal’s economy minister, said the project will “lay the foundations for the country’s—and the continent’s—pharmaceutical and medical sovereignty”.

Gerd Müller, Germany’s minister for economic cooperation and development, said that locally made vaccines will be key to fighting the pandemic on the continent. “Now, for the first time, the continent has a realistic chance of establishing its own manufacturing facilities,” he said.