Discussions to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines in Rwanda underway

On 7 May 2021 at 11:58

The Minister of State in the Ministry of Health in charge of Primary Healthcare, Dr. Tharcisse Mpunga has said that the Government of Rwanda is holding discussions with manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines that could pave the way to establish a local plant.

He made the revelation on Thursday 6th May 2021 appearing in RBA talk show revolving around the country’s responsiveness to COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Mpunga explained that a lot need to be done to defeat COVID-19 because the country has not yet secured enough vaccines. He however observed that highlighted Rwanda has registered good progress with regards to preventing the spread of Coronavirus.

A total of 350 352 people have been vaccinated since Rwanda began countrywide inoculation program on 5th March 2021.

Dr. Mpunga revealed that vaccines distribution seems to be on stand still because of their scarcity despite huge demand.

“Many vaccines were distributed from India but the current situation of the pandemic that requires mass vaccination reduced the number of vaccines on African continent,”he said.

India has been hit hard by the pandemic where it is the first country with death toll surpassing 400,000 in 24 hours. India started registering the worst COVID-19 records following the emergence of new coronavirus variant.

Dr. Mpunga has said that Rwanda’s pace to roll out vaccination programme was impeded by worsening situation countries manufacturing vaccines.

India manufacturers AstraZeneca vaccines of which a large number of Rwandans received the first shot awaiting the second dose.

Dr. Mpunga expressed optimism that these vaccines might be available this month.

Even if things might not go well as expected; he revealed that recipients of the first dose should understand that they are more protected than individuals who didn’t receive any shot.

Dr. Mpunga has further stressed that Rwanda is analyzing how Covid-19 vaccines can be manufactured locally to facilitate access for Rwandans and Africans at large.

“Rwanda is seeking how these vaccines can be manufactured locally. I am hopeful that it can be a great milestone that would help us to get vaccines and distribute to other countries on African continent as well. The Government is engaging with partners which could pave the way for local manufacturing. Discussions are on good progress but I cannot precise if it is going to happen tomorrow or after tomorrow. We are optimistic that discussions will bear good fruits in the near future,” he said.