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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh to get jab technology support from WHO

The WHO it is prioritising countries that do not have mRNA technology but have manufacturing infrastructure and capacity

Update : 23 Feb 2022, 09:58 PM

Bangladesh and four other countries will receive support from the mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

The rest countries are Indonesia, Pakistan, Serbia and Vietnam.

The five countries have been vetted by a group of experts and proved to have the capacity to move to production stage relatively quickly, the global health body said.

The technology transfer hub was set up in Cape Town, South Africa last year to give companies from poor and middle-income countries the know-how to produce Covid-19 vaccines based on mRNA technology. 

The WHO said that so far 20 countries expressed interest in getting training on developing an mRNA vaccine by the South African hub.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing that they are currently prioritising countries that do not have mRNA technology but already have some manufacturing infrastructure and capacity.

Last week, six African countries - Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia - signed up as the first on the continent to receive the technology to manufacture mRNA vaccines at scale and according to international standards.

Meanwhile, UN agency also revealed that it has set up a hub in South Korea to train low- and middle-income countries to produce their own vaccines and therapies, and is expanding its Covid-19 vaccine project to a further five nations.

This new training hub comes after the one in Cape Town. 

The new hub outside Seoul will provide workforce training to all countries wishing to produce products such as vaccines, insulin, monoclonal antibodies, said the WHO director general.

"Currently, bio-manufacturing training facilities are located mainly in high income countries..., putting them out of reach for many lower income countries," he said.

The facility in South Korea is already carrying out training for companies based in the country and will now accommodate trainees from other countries, the WHO said. 

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