With the huge demand for COVID-19 vaccines and the fact that the worldwide manufacturing capacity is still far from where it needs to be, more countries are considering starting their own manufacturing operations.
Currently, most of the output of the myriad COVID-19 vaccines is going to rich countries while the poor ones are left waiting or to fend for themselves. To mitigate this problem The European Union has agreed in principle to finance a vaccine production facility in Morocco that could help supply the African continent.
Today, Morocco, which is interested in the project, confirmed that a spokesperson for the European Commission has stated on the condition of anonymity that the European Commission is ready to participate in the financing of a vaccine production facility whose output will be destined to meet the demand of African countries.
Morocco already has a strong pharmaceutical manufacturing base that supplies mostly to African countries and thus would be an ideal location for the project.
Africa which represents 14% of the world’s population has less than 0.1% of the world’s vaccine production!
“Should pharmaceutical companies submit a clear and structured proposal that meets all the conditions for a satisfactory production chain in Morocco – including technical, regulatory and licensing conditions – the European Commission could participate in the financing of a vaccine production facility in Morocco,” says a European Commission spokesperson, adding that it is important for Africa to build its own endogenous vaccine production capacity.
“This infrastructure is needed for the future and for beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Discussions on this issue are ongoing between the European Union and the African Union,” the spokesperson said. “The financial instruments at the Commission’s disposal, in particular the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), are adequate to support public-private partnerships in general and in this area in particular,” he elaborated.
The EU has already mobilized millions of euros in aid to address immediate health and socioeconomic needs in many African countries as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.