KENYA — Kenya has achieved a significant milestone by being named as a member state of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), a move that is set to bolster the nation’s capacity for vaccine production and self-reliance.  

This membership marks a critical step towards enhancing Kenya’s primary healthcare and disease prevention efforts, leveraging IVI’s global expertise. 

Following this recognition, IVI has committed to establishing a Country and Project Office in Nairobi, which will spearhead the Advancing Vaccine End-to-End Capabilities in Africa (AVEC Africa) initiative.  

This initiative aims to enhance vaccine research, development, and manufacturing across the continent, contributing to greater health security and self-reliance. 

The formal announcement was made during an accession ceremony at IVI headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. 

During the ceremony, Kenya formally deposited the instrument of accession to the IVI Establishment Agreement, marking the beginning of a new era of collaboration and innovation in vaccine research and development. 

The event was graced by President William Samoei Ruto, IVI Director-General Jerome Kim, and Cabinet Secretary for Health Nakhumicha S. Wafula. 

Others in attendance included global health leaders, diplomats, and experts, who praised Kenya’s admission as an important step forward in achieving global health equality and resilience. 

In his address, President Ruto underscored Kenya’s dedication to bolstering international cooperation in the fight against infectious diseases. 

He emphasized that this new development would significantly strengthen Kenya’s health systems by ensuring health commodity security through enhanced research, development, and manufacturing capabilities.  

President Ruto also highlighted the remarkable achievements of the Ministry of Health, the Kenya BioVax Institute, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), alongside the expertise from IVI headquarters, in making this partnership a reality. 

For her part, CS Nakhumicha noted that membership in IVI provides Kenya with access to a vast network for vaccines and technology transfer, which is essential for building the country’s internal self-reliance through local manufacturing. 

She praised the collaboration as a pivotal step towards achieving sustainable health solutions for the region. 

Jerome Kim, Director-General of IVI, also expressed profound gratitude for Kenya’s decision to join forces with the institute.  

He recognized Kenya’s vital role in driving progress in vaccine science and commended the nation’s commitment to advancing global health equity and resilience.  

Kim went on to highlight that Kenya’s accession to IVI would foster significant advancements in vaccine research and development, benefiting not only Kenya but the entire African continent. 

 This collaboration is expected to lead to groundbreaking developments in vaccine production and distribution, addressing some of the most pressing health challenges facing Africa today.  

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