Uganda acquires green monkey cells for Covid-19 vaccine devt

Wednesday July 07 2021
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Uganda's President Yoweri Tibuhaburwa Kaguta Museveni. PHOTO/FILE/PPU

By Xinhua

President Museveni on Tuesday said Uganda has received green monkey cells which are critical in the development of its Covid-19 vaccine.

Mr Museveni said the acquisition of the green monkey cells is a major boost in the country's quest to develop a Covid-19 vaccine to address a recent surge in coronavirus cases.

"One of the things they (local scientists) were looking for was the green monkey cells which can grow well for the virus like corona,’’ he said.

‘‘It is going to be the first time these cells are being used in a laboratory in Africa to multiply the virus for the vaccines," Mr Museveni added, while explaining that ‘‘the cells are key for virus multiplication in vaccine production.’’

He made the remarks while presiding a ceremony to lay a foundation stone for a biological drugs and vaccine manufacturing facility in the country on July 6. 

The ceremony was also attended by Kenya's Deputy President Mr William Ruto.

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In June, Mr Museveni said that apart from importing Covid-19 vaccines, local scientists were developing a vaccine and other therapeutics.

"Making a vaccine involves eight or nine phases if the World Health Organization WHO) allows you to skip one phase. Our researchers are now entering stage four. We hope to get to stage eight by November," the president said at the World Health Summit Regional Meeting in late June. 

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