Moderna pauses plans to build vaccines facility in Kenya

Moderna pauses plans to build vaccines facility in Kenya
Moderna pauses plans to build vaccines facility in Kenya

Africa-Press – Namibia. American drugmaker Moderna said on Thursday, April 12, that it had paused its plans to build an mRNA vaccine manufacturing plant in Kenya as demand for vaccines in Africa falls.

The company said that the continent’s uptake of COVID-19 vaccines is no longer sufficient enough to support the project.

“The demand in Africa for COVID-19 vaccines has declined since the pandemic and is insufficient to support the viability of the factory planned in Kenya,” the company said in a statement.

Moderna said it has not received any vaccine orders for Africa since 2022 and has faced the cancellation of previous orders, resulting in more than $1 billion in losses and write-downs.

The company announced in March 2022 that it was planning to invest $500 million in the facility, which would be able to produce up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year.

“Despite these challenges, Moderna is committed to ensuring equitable access and meeting emerging demands from African nations for its COVID-19 vaccine through its global manufacturing network,” the company said.

It added that it is actively working on the development of vaccines, including those for diseases that predominantly affect the African continent, such as HIV and malaria and that these investigational vaccines are at an early development stage.

“Given this, and in alignment with our strategic planning, Moderna believes it is prudent to pause its efforts to build an mRNA manufacturing facility in Kenya,” reads the statement in part.

The cancellation of Moderna’s plans to build a facility in Kenya is part of its plans to cut costs associated with its COVID-19 vaccine production.

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