The World Health Organization is establishing a new training center hub to help low- and middle-income countries make COVID-19 vaccines and other treatments using mRNA-based technologies, the Associated Press reports.
It adds that this new training center hub is to be in South Korea and is to share mRNA tools and technology being developed by WHO partners in South Africa. Researchers in South Africa, the AP notes, are reverse-engineering the mRNA-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developed by Moderna, as both it and Pfizer and BioNTech have declined to share how they make their vaccines.
"Just 60 years ago, Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world," Kwon Deok-cheol, the Korean health minister says in a statement. "With the help and support of WHO and the international community, we have transitioned into a country with a strong public health system and bio-industry. … By sharing these lessons we've learnt from our own experience in the past, we will strive to support the low- and middle-income countries in strengthening their biomanufacturing capabilities so that we could pave the way together towards a safer world during the next pandemic."
Last week, the WHO announced that the South African hub would be providing the technology it develops to Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia. According to the AP, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Serbia, and Vietnam will now also be supported by that hub.