Kenya ranked top in manufacturing vaccine

Covid vaccination

Local vaccine production can earn Kenya billions of shillings each year in additional investments, savings and revenue, the Lancet medical journal says.

In a newly published study released recently, the journal has ranked Kenya a top candidate for vaccine manufacturing globally ahead of India and South Africa citing its strategic advantages in traditional research capacity as well as distribution logistics.

Clinical trials

“New products developed and manufactured in Kenya would benefit all 21 countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa),” said Lancet in the study backed by American private university Duke University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“In Kenya, each dollar invested by the government would return $2·51.”

The study by the medical journal assessed the case for investing in clinical trials and manufacturing capacity for three middle-income countries including India, Kenya, and South Africa.

“We show that India, Kenya, and South Africa can generate a substantial return on investment while averting millions of deaths,” says the study.

Eyeing Kenya

The study could offer useful insights for global vaccine manufacturers who have picked Kenya as their production hubs or those eyeing Kenya. Th country has also invited firms through a global tender to bid for the construction of a Covid-19 vaccine plant as it enters the homestretch on manufacturing the jab locally.

The study says Kenya could however need about Sh177 billion over the next decade to set up the necessary infrastructure for vaccine production.

“From the societal perspective, during a 16-year period between 2021 and 2036, the investments needed for clinical trials, trial sites, NRAs (National Regulatory Authorities), and manufacturing range from $1·5 billion in Kenya and India to $1·7 billion in South Africa,” says the study.

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Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.