Moderna team meets CS Kagwe to discuss Sh5.8b vaccine plant
Kenya’s efforts to put up a vaccination plant moved a notch higher last week when Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe met a technical team from Moderna.
The team was led by Shannon Klinger, the Chief Legal Officer, Senior Vice President, Facilities and Engineering, Roland Rocafort and Head of Corporate Security Dean Geribo.
They were also accompanied by Congressman Ed Royce and Policy Director Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck. The country has signed a memorandum with Moderna to set up a $500 million (Sh5.8 billion) vaccination plant.
Kagwe met the team from Moderna alongside his Industrialisation counterpart Betty Maina as well as other senior government officials and representatives from the US embassy in Nairobi, the Health ministry said in a statement.
“During their visit, they are expected to explore further different aspects necessary for their operations including where to situate the factory as well as other set up logistics,” the Ministry of Health said.
A statement from the ministry further added: “They will also visit the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital facility where they will witness a vaccination site and also get a tour of the cancer care centre.”
And while welcoming the Moderna team to the country, Kagwe said the Ministry of Health and other relevant government ministries were under instructions from President Uhuru Kenyatta to ensure that the “setup of the establishment is as smooth as possible and happens in the shortest time possible.”
He reiterated that Kenya is committed to ensuring Moderna’s objectives are met, saying the country and the region will benefit.
President Kenyatta witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Kenya and Moderna last month.
This would be Moderna’s first mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Africa.
African leaders, frustrated by richer nations’ vaccine hoarding, joined together to pursue the goal of bringing more vaccine manufacturing to the continent of 1.3 billion people.
In October, Senegal and Rwanda signed an agreement with BioNTech for the construction of its first start-to-finish factories to make mRNA vaccines in Africa.
Moderna says its goal is to produce up to 500 million doses of vaccines a year for Africa.