The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) has teamed up with two private pharmaceutical companies in Brazil and Argentina to help Latin America manufacture on its own all the vaccines it needs to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project is not limited to coronavirus. PAHO, a regional subsidiary of the World Health Organisation, wants Latin America to be self-reliant when it comes to producing vaccines against all infectious diseases, including malaria and tuberculosis.
“Limited (global) production and unequal distribution of vaccines in the face of staggering demand hinder our COVID response,” says PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. “Mass vaccination is critical if we are to stem the tide of this pandemic and hinder the spread of further variants.”
The private pharmaceutical companies are Argentina-based Sinergium Biotech and Brazil’s Instituto de Tecnologia em Inmunobiológicos Bio-Manguinhos.
The Brazilian institute, according to PAHO, has made promising advances in the development of an innovative mRNA vaccine against coronavirus. Mabxience, a subsidiary of the Argentinian firm, will supply ingredients for vaccine manufacturers.
American pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna were the first to produce vaccines using mRNA technology. Now, it seems the World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken charge of transferring this technology to private firms around the world in order to speed up vaccine manufacturing.
With 2.16 million fatalities and more than 87 million cases, Latin America has been the worst victim of Covid-19.