Covid-19 manufacturing roundup: Kenya will add manufacturing plant, up vaccination sites; South Korea left waiting on Russia vaccine exports
A fill-and-finish manufacturing site is popping up in Kenya to help assure Covid-19 vaccine supply, the ministry of health announced Wednesday.
The site will help third-party drugmakers put vaccines into vials. As a result, Kenya’s vaccination sites will more than triple — to 3,000 from 800 — leading to the doubling of vaccines in arms by December, Bloomberg reported.
Africa has been focused on self-sustainability on the Covid-19 vaccination front. In early September, BioNTech announced it is considering putting vaccine manufacturing sites in Rwanda and Senegal to help beef up the continent’s supply.
That announcement came after it was learned that a South African plant that was given $200 million from the US government to produce J&J’s shot was forced to send those jabs back to Europe, despite an uptick in cases domestically.
With millions of doses in storage, GL awaits Russian manufacturing approval
A South Korean biotech is anticipating approval from Russia to export the country’s one-shot version of its Covid-19 vaccine, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund plans to produce 700 million doses this year alone, and GL Rapha expects to be the first manufacturer to gain approval. Chairman Whang Jae-gan said in an interview that everything on GL’s side is good to go, and the company just awaits validation of the process from Russia. The company has 10 million doses of Sputnik Light in storage, ready to be shipped in its Chuncheon facility, east of Seoul, Reuters reported.
Sputnik V and Sputnik Light both await emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization after an October 2020 submission.
In August, reports noted that Kazakhstan might jump into the manufacturing of Sputnik Light in-country, as it has lagged behind in its vaccination rollout. Kazakhstan already has produced the two-jab Sputnik V, and received imports of the vaccine from Russia.
Scientists in Russia reported 92% efficacy in a Phase III trial of Sputnik V, a number that’s surpassed adenovirus-based vaccines, though evidence was scarce. Sputnik V has been approved by 70 countries, including Hungary, Slovakia and Syria.