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The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said today that it has received more than 30 proposals from producers in the region to be part of a consortium for the manufacture of messenger RNA vaccines, as part of a global initiative to reduce the technological vulnerability of America. Latin and the Caribbean.
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Asked by El Comercio about Peru’s participation in this regional proposal, Jarbas Barbosa, PAHO’s deputy director, pointed out that the entity is evaluating 32 proposals, but that at the moment could not announce which countries or companies had shown interest to participate in this initiative, and that the names will be announced next week.
“But Peru, as well as all countries [de la región], will be benefited by the initiative [de producción de vacunas de ARNm”, afirmó.
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Hace poco, la OPS convocó a productores de la región, privados y públicos, para sumarse al consorcio regional que garantice, en el mediano y largo plazo, que América Latina y el Caribe tengan la capacidad de producir vacunas con esta tecnología, que actualmente es usada por Moderna y Pfizer/BioNTech en sus inmunizantes contra el COVID-19.
“La idea [de esta plataforma] is to take advantage of the capacity [de producción] that already exists [en la región]; present proposals that may be feasible, that may have long-term sustainability. It is not a project for a month or two months, it is a project for the medium and long term, which can have a very positive impact. And all the products that are going to be developed under this initiative have to benefit the entire region ”, Barbosa added.
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With this regional consortium, it is expected to guarantee the provision of all the necessary inputs for mRNA vaccines: seed lots, cell banks and intermediate products until the finished product. The objective is that the region can be prepared to respond to a possible new “infectious threat” similar al COVID-19.
Latin America and the Caribbean have so far vaccinated only one in four people and 540 million doses are needed to ensure that all countries can protect at least 60% of their population. Difficulties in access have been reported by various governments and by entities such as PAHO, GAVI, and the World Health Organization.
Peru has fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to more than 9 million people, which represents about 30% of the target population. More than 22 million doses have been administered so far.
President Pedro Castillo announced at the beginning of the month that his government has reached an agreement with Russia for the installation of a plant for the production of vaccines against COVID-19, whose technology is viral vector. Although experts have welcomed the initiative, they clarify that a project of this type will take time.
RNA vaccines do not use the virus itself, but instead carry information from a key part of the coronavirus to cells so that these produce an immune response against the virus. Thus, the body will be prepared to face a real infection.
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