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Kenya joins IVI boosting its vaccine production capacity


Kenya has formally joined the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) as a Member State.

Kenya’s accession to the IVI strengthens the nation’s resolve to achieve self-reliance in vaccine production, President William Ruto said at the ceremony held to mark the country’s ratification of the IVI treaty at the agency’s headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.

During the ceremony, President Ruto raised the Kenyan flag and then the National Anthem was played.

He pointed out that increased vaccine availability will enhance the delivery of Kenya’s primary healthcare and adequately support disease prevention.

President Ruto said Kenya had learnt critical lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic challenges of accessing vaccines, and emphasised the commitment to reduce reliance on external manufacturers of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.

“The time has come for Africa to actualise health sovereignty by liberating itself from dependency on unsustainable frameworks, and accelerating initiatives to become self-sufficient in vaccine production,” he said.

The President said making vaccines universally accessible, regardless of nationality and status, is an urgent imperative that must be addressed.

“In vaccine production and supply terms, no one is safe until everyone is safe.”

President Ruto thanked IVI for announcing that it would establish a country and project office in Nairobi, saying it will bolster Kenya’s Universal Health Coverage agenda and promote African self-reliance in vaccine production.

“Under this partnership, we will strive to strengthen our health systems by ensuring commodity security through research, development and manufacturing,” he said.

President Ruto said a tripartite agreement between the IVI, Kenya Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology will further boost the continent’s plan for cutting edge research and training, and consequently a resilient healthcare system.

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