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Challenges and opportunities for scaling vaccine manufacturing in Africa, and where research can help 

Join a diverse panel of experts who will share their insights and identify solutions to support and accelerate vaccine research and production in Africa at an online webinar on October 25.
Technologists will vaccine containers in a laboratory in Nairobi.
Matthew Nzioka, technologist, controls the filling station where vaccines are placed in their final containers in May 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya.

We are hosting a series of 90-minute webinars on the challenges and opportunities for scaling up vaccine development and manufacturing in Africa. Please join us to learn about this international effort.  

The African Union has set an ambitious objective of developing, producing and distributing at least  60% of the vaccines for Africa by 2040 and has established the Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing to enhance the continent’s long-term supply resilience. It aims to increase health security across the continent and globally. At present, less than 0.1% of the world's vaccine supply is manufactured in Africa, and only 1% of vaccines deployed in Africa are manufactured on the continent. 

Other partners, such as Global Affairs Canada, the Mastercard Foundation and IDRC are also investing in this objective. Global Affairs Canada’s Global Initiative for Vaccine Equity (CanGIVE) has invested CAD317 million to increase COVID-19 vaccination among priority groups, reinforce health system capacity and diversify vaccine manufacturing capacity in 12 target countries, most of them in Africa. The Mastercard Foundation’s Saving Lives and Livelihoods program aims to secure vaccines for a minimum of 50 million individuals and facilitate the administration of vaccinations to millions more across Africa. IDRC is funding research to identify the challenges and issues associated with scaling vaccine manufacturing and distribution in Africa, and to accelerate the uptake and use of new vaccines as they are rolled out. 

While these and other activities are very important, Africa must confront many challenges before it can sustainably scale vaccine manufacturing. For example, vaccine manufacturing is inherently expensive, so producing large volumes is the only way of bringing prices down. However, this can take time and it is risky because it is contingent on sufficient and coordinated demand. Africa also faces challenges with human capital, regulatory inefficiencies, and competing priorities within and outside the health sector. Despite these difficulties, there is growing momentum to build a sustainable vaccine manufacturing industry in Africa.  

This roundtable, co-sponsored by IDRC and Global Affairs Canada, is the first in a series to share information and best practices, and to identify ways to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.  

Challenges and opportunities for scaling vaccine manufacturing in Africa event card

Register for this webinar and gain a better understanding of the challenges and issues associated with scaling vaccine manufacturing in Africa. The session will also identify current and planned initiatives and possible opportunities to address these challenges through research.