Pfizer has signed a memorandum of understanding with Africa’s main public health organisation to supply Paxlovid antiviral COVID-19 pill to the region.
Data from a mid-to-late stage study in November showed that the Covid-19 pill, Paxlovid, was nearly 90% effective in preventing hospitalisations and deaths compared to placebo, in adults at high risk of severe illness.
“The memorandum of understanding is with the legal office at the AU [African Union]”, John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Development (CDC) told an online media briefing on Thursday.
Recall that some days ago Moderna signed an agreement with Kenya to establish its first mRNA factory, while South African manufacturer Aspen has announced that it will sell, package, and distribute Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines.
Senegal and Rwanda struck a deal with BioNTech in October to build the company’s first start-to-finish mRNA vaccine plants in Africa.
In order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic this year, African countries should use a combination of public health measures, vaccines, testing, and other therapies, including the Pfizer one, according to Nkengasong.
“These molecules have a very unique role to play in a campaign to fight against this terrible pandemic,” he said.
Nkengasong expressed concern about countries with poor vaccination rates, which include most African countries, and warned that people should not be complacent because the virus presented a serious threat.
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