WTO urges pharmaceutical coys to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production in developing nations

World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has called on pharmaceutical companies to scale up the production of COVID19 vaccines in developing countries to overcome supply shortage.

“ Okonjo-Iweala on March 9, called on COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers to do to ramp up production in developing countries to the vaccine supply shortage that is excluding many lower-income nations from access.

In remarks to an event hosted UK think tank Chatham House, she said cooperation on trade, and action at the WTO, would help accelerate vaccine scale-up,’’ the WTO said in a press release late on Tuesday.

According to the WTO chief, some 60 countries can ahead with vaccination due to supply shortage while 130 countries no such opportunity.

“Given the years required to build new manufacturing facilities from scratch, increasing production in the short-term means “ the most of existing manufacturing capacity  Recent experience suggests that repurposing facilities and vetting them for safety and quality can happen in six or seven months, less half as long as previously thought,’’ the press release added.

Okonjo-Iweala also invited vaccine manufacturers to inform the organisation in a real-time mode about the problems they are facing so that the WTO members can discuss them and find ways to mitigate the consequences or resolve the issues. (dpa/NAN)