Moderna to build factory to manufacture Covid-19 vaccine in Kenya: report

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Moderna has reached a tentative agreement with Kenya to bring a Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing facility to the country, multiple outlets reported.

The pharmaceutical company announced the deal on Monday (March 7), saying it plans to invest $500 million in the production of mRNA – the key ingredient in its Covid-19 vaccine – at the facility by 2023. Details on where in Kenya the facility is located has not yet been released, but the goal is to produce 500 million doses of the vaccine a year for the entire continent.

Moderna, other Covid-19 vaccine makers and wealthier nations have come under criticism over the past two years for calls for vaccine doses to be distributed to countries and regions that didn’t have enough. The company has pledged 650 million doses of its vaccine through 2022 to the international vaccine-sharing program known as Covax.

News of the plant comes as the US eases Covid-19-related restrictions following the winter surge fueled by the Omicron variant. Last year, Moderna shipped 807 million doses of its vaccine worldwide.

It is the only commercially available vaccine and offers months of consistent efficacy against hospitalization with Covid-19, according to data. The company sold $17.7 billion worth of its vaccine in 2021, accounting for a large portion of its $18.7 billion revenue.

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