The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has selected two of 30 applicants, to date, for participation in the entity’s regional manufacturing platform.
This initiative aims to forge alliances to accelerate vaccine and other critical health technology research, development, and manufacturing in the Americas.
PAHO Director, Dr. Carissa Etienne, said that the entities – public producer Bio-Manguinhos Institute of Technology on Immunobiologicals at the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil, and private sector company Sinergium Biotech in Argentina – will receive technical support to accelerate the development and production of mRNA vaccines, which is the technology utilized by Pfizer and Moderna.
She was speaking during PAHO’s weekly COVID-19 digital media briefing on Wednesday (September 29).
Dr. Etienne said that aside from meeting PAHO’s criteria for participating in the regional initiative, both entities were chosen based on their long track record in vaccine manufacturing.
She indicated that the support to be provided will enable them to build on this legacy to protect people from the threat of COVID-19 and future health risks.
“All vaccines that will be produced under this initiative will be available to all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through PAHO’s Revolving Fund, benefiting the entire region,” she noted.
Noting that the manufacturing process comprises numerous steps, Dr. Etienne said PAHO invites other public and private pharmaceutical manufacturers that can produce the vital components and elements for mRNA vaccines, among other key outputs, to participate in the initiative.
She advised that applications are open until October 15, “and we encourage suppliers across our region to apply”.
“We are counting on the support of member states, financing institutions and others to prioritize investments in our regional supply chains, because, while expanding regional pharmaceutical manufacturing will require significant investment, the cost of inaction is simply too high, and we cannot go it alone,” the Director noted.
Against this background, Dr. Etienne urged countries, institutions, and partners to “work together, so we can overcome this pandemic faster and be stronger and more resilient when the next crisis strikes”.
Meanwhile, PAHO’s Assistant Director, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr., said that the organization has also reached out to other stakeholders to support the initiative.
These, he indicated, include the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to offer financing support for other entities whose projects meet the qualification criteria.
Source — JIS
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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