African Vaccine Alliance Proposed to Strengthen Vaccine Research and Development in Africa
A delegate from the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) led by Dr. Jerome H. Kim, Director General of the institute, visited the Armauer Hansen Research Institute (AHRI) on October 2, 2023. The visit aimed to enhance collaboration between the two parties and explore opportunities for vaccine research and development in Africa.
During the meeting, AHRI’s Director General, Prof. Afework Kassu, provided an overview of AHRI’s history, research initiatives, and vaccine-related projects in Ethiopia. Dr. Kim then presented IVI’s ongoing and past projects in Africa, emphasizing field surveillance, evidence generation, vaccine research and development, registration, manufacturing, and delivery.
One of the key proposals discussed in the meeting was the establishment of the African Vaccine Alliance (AVA), a platform to unite stakeholders in vaccine production from Africa. The proposed alliance aims to foster collaboration in professional training and create an African institution dedicated to vaccine research and development and manufacturing.
The meeting participants also discussed plans for vaccine technology transfer, collaboration in pre-clinical and clinical development of vaccines, capacity-building through hands-on training in vaccinology and vaccine manufacturing, vaccine regulatory oversight, cost-effectiveness considerations, and exchange of vaccine experts to facilitate knowledge transfer and collaboration.
Both parties agreed to strengthen collaboration in various areas, including vaccine technology transfer, capacity-building in vaccinology and vaccine manufacturing, as well as vaccine research and development.
Dr. Se Eun Park, Research Scientist and Clinical Assessment Regulatory (CARE) Unit lead at IVI-AHRI Collaboration Centre, provided an update on the activities carried out since the establishment of the collaborating office in June 2021.
The meeting concluded with a site visit to the IVI-AHRI Collaboration Centre office and AHRI’s new building clinical trial facility, showcasing the commitment to advancing vaccine research and development in Africa.
During its visit, Oct 02-04, the IVI team also paid a visit to H.E. Dr Lia Tadesse, Minister, MOH, H.E. Dr Gebeyehu Ganga, DG for Asia and Pacific Region, MoFAs and Africa CDC PAVM team for an extended collaboration in improving the vaccine R&D and manufacturing ecosystem in Ethiopia and beyond.
Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this collaboration and its impact on global health.