In a statement the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said, it has selected two biomedical centers in Brazil and in Argentina to develop and produce mRNA-based vaccines to fight COVID-19 in Latin America.
PAHO is the region’s health agency.
The health agency aims to tap existing manufacturing capacities to help transfer vaccine technology developed by Moderna in the United States to a region significantly affected by the coronavirus and still continues to be without access to sufficient vaccines.
Brazil’s premier biomedical lab, the Bio-Manguinhos Institute of Technology on Immunobiologicals at Fiocruz, has been picked for its history of vaccine manufacturing.
PAHO has also selected Sinergium Biotech, a private sector biopharmaceutical company, as its resource center in Argentina. It will also partner with pharmaceutical lab mAbxience of the same group to develop and manufacture active vaccine ingredients.
The Americas region has borne the brunt of COVID-19 infections to date, with 87.6 million cases recorded and over 2.16 million deaths. Despite these high numbers, vaccine distribution continues to be unequal, said PAHO with very few countries in the region managing to reach the year-end 40% vaccine target set by the WHO.