Moderna plans mRNA vaccine factory in Africa

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Moderna plans to invest about $500 million to build a factory in Africa to make up to 500 million doses of mRNA vaccines each year, it said on Thursday.

In the latest move by the pharmaceuticals industry to manufacture drugs on the continent, Moderna’s proposed site will also include bottling and packaging capabilities.

The vaccines will use Moderna’s mRNA technology, but the statement did not say if it would be the US company’s COVID-19 shot.

Heart inflammation

On Sunday, Canadian health officials said data suggests reported cases of rare heart inflammation were relatively higher after Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine compared with the Pfizer/BioNTech shots .

The data also indicated heart inflammation occurs more often in adolescents and adults under 30 years of age, and more often in males.

The statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada said majority of the affected individuals experienced relatively mild illness and recovered quickly.

The risk of cardiac complications, including heart inflammation, has been shown to be substantially increased following COVID-19 infections, with the risks higher after the infection than after vaccination, according to the statement.

The benefits of mRNA shots in preventing COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks, regulators in the United States, EU and the World Health Organsation have said.