WHO announces 2nd hub for training countries to make COVID-19 vaccines

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said 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 further five nations.

The new training hub comes after the UN agency set up a technology transfer hub 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.

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The new hub will provide workforce training to all countries wishing to produce products such as vaccines, insulin, monoclonal antibodies, the WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing.

The WHO also said five more countries – Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Serbia and Vietnam – will receive support from its mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa.

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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.

On Wednesday, Tedros said so far 20 countries had expressed interest in getting training on developing an mRNA vaccine by the South African hub.

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