Kenya is set to start manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines next year in a move aimed at easing supply hitches.
The vaccines will be produced locally in collaboration with unnamed pharmaceutical companies, according to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe.
Kagwe said the government is in the process of setting up a filling plant for the COVID-19 vaccines while a full-fledged manufacturing plant will be built by 2024.
A fill and finish facility allows third parties to put the vaccine from the main manufacturers into vials or syringes, sealing them and packaging them up for distribution.
“To improve our vaccine supply security, the government has embarked on the local manufacture of Covid-19 vaccines starting with the establishment of a fill-and finish facility through strategic partnerships and technological transfer,” Kagwe said in the National COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment Plan, 2021.
“We aim to start local production during the first quarter of 2022 and have a fully-fledged human vaccine manufacturing capability by 2024.”
He pointed out that local production will help secure sufficient vaccines to boost mass vaccination programs.
Kenya targets to inoculate at least 10 million adults by December this year and 26 million by end of June 2022.
The country has so far received about three million doses of the Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca vaccines.