Vaccine plant funded by EIB to open in Senegal

The Dakar-based institute intends to assist Africa reduce it’s reliance on vaccine imports.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has pledged 75 million euros to the construction of a vaccine plant in Senegal. The facility will be manufacturing and providing COVID-19 as well as other vaccines for use in Africa. The plant will be managed by the Institut Pasteur based in Dakar. The idea of the facility is to establish Africa as an independent producer of vaccines, without the reliance of vaccine imports. In 2022, the EIB and the European Union (EU) have donated five million euros for feasibility studies and project preparation. Amadou Alpha Sall, the director of Institut Pasteur in Senegal stated, "It is essential to create decentralised vaccine manufacturing capacity to address this imbalance and ultimately build a safer and healthier world.

In a statement announcing the new financing, the EIB stated that the facility is aiming to begin vaccine production before the end of the year. At full capacity the facility should produce 300 million doses per year. The vaccines that are to be produced comprise of COVID-19, endemic disease and yellow fever vaccines. Due to Africa’s dependence on outside manufacturing the continent had a delayed COVID-19 vaccine rollout last year. The vaccine doses have since arrived, however the vaccination rates remain low in many countries due to logistical challenges and vaccine hesitancy. "Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we have maintained that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” said Irene Mingasson, the head of the EU delegation to Senegal. The Dakar-based institute is jointly run by the Senegalese government and the Paris-based Institut Pasteur.