Local vaccine production can bring Kenya billions of shillings in additional investment, savings and revenue each year, according to the medical journal Lancet.
In a recent, republished study, the journal ranked Kenya as a top candidate for vaccine manufacturing globally, ahead of India and South Africa, citing its strategic advantages in terms of traditional research capabilities as well as distribution logistics.
“New products developed and manufactured in Kenya would benefit all 21 countries of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (Comesa),” Lancet said in the Duke University and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-sponsored conference Study.
“In Kenya, every dollar invested by the government would bring in $2.51.”
The medical journal’s study evaluated investment 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 achieve significant returns on investment while preventing millions of deaths,” the study says.
Kenya in mind
The study could offer useful insights for global vaccine manufacturers who have chosen Kenya as their production hub, or for those keeping an eye on Kenya. The country has also invited companies in a global tender to bid to build a Covid-19 vaccine factory as it enters the home stretch in manufacturing the vaccine locally.
However, according to the study, Kenya could need about 177 billion shillings over the next decade to build the necessary infrastructure for vaccine production.
“From a societal perspective, the investments required for clinical trials, study sites, NRAs (National Regulatory Authorities) and manufacturing amount to US$1.5 billion in Kenya and India over a 16-year period between 2021 and 2036 $1.7 billion in South Africa,” the study said.