WHO is working to spread COVID-19 vaccine technology to more nations
The World Health Organization is creating a global training center to help poorer countries make vaccines, antibodies and cancer treatments using the messenger RNA technology that has successfully been used to make COVID-19 vaccines.
At a press briefing in Geneva on Wednesday, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the new hub will be in South Korea and will share mRNA technology being developed by WHO and partners in South Africa, where scientists are working to recreate the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna Inc. That effort is taking place without Moderna’s help.
“Vaccines have helped to change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic but this scientific triumph has been undermined by vast inequities in access to these life-saving tools,” Tedros said.
It’s the first time that WHO has supported such unorthodox efforts to reverse-engineer a commercially-sold vaccine, making an end-run around the pharmaceutical industry, which has largely prioritized supplying rich countries over poor in both sales and manufacturing.