The Caribbean will benefit from Canadian funding to boost vaccine production. | So Good News
Canada is providing CAD $15 million (one dollar = US$0.74 cents) to a Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) initiative to increase vaccine production capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We are pleased to support PAHO’s innovative efforts to strengthen vaccine production capabilities in Latin America and the Caribbean and to deepen our collaboration on an important issue for the region,” said Ambassador Hugh Adsett, Permanent Representative of Canada to the Organization of American States (OAS). )
Launched in 2021, PAHO aims to develop a regional platform for the production of COVID-19 vaccines and other health technologies in the Americas, “to increase the region’s ability to respond more quickly and autonomously to health emergencies, and to improve access to more needed vaccines, drugs and other medicines.”
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Director of PAHO Dr. Carissa F. Etienne commended Canada for this generous and timely support that “will better prepare the region for future challenges.”
The COVID-19 health crisis has exposed major gaps in access to health care, including vaccines, PAHO said the country is heavily dependent on imports for medicines and other medical supplies.
Countries with regional manufacturing capacity are the first to benefit from COVID-19 vaccines, it said. “But much of Latin America and the Caribbean has had to wait for it to become available from centralized third-party producers, causing significant delays in launching campaigns. Protect lives.”
Dr. Etienne said there is a need to invest in efforts to diversify the production of vaccines and their components across the country, taking advantage of new health technologies such as messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines that can be used beyond COVID-19.
By enhancing existing capacities in the region, PAHO will support training and technology transfer, strengthen regional value chains to source components needed for vaccine production, strengthen regulatory systems and support activities for vaccine production, he said.
As part of the PAHO effort; In September 2021, Bio-Manguinhos/FIOCRUZ in Brazil and Sinergium Biotech in Argentina were selected to be part of a technology transfer initiative for the development and production of regional mRNA-based vaccines.