President William Ruto has led the government to initiate its process of becoming a member of the International Vaccine Institute (IVI).

Foreign Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua handed over a letter of intent to IVI Director-General Jerome Kim at a meeting chaired by President Ruto in Seoul, South Korea.

During the meeting, President Ruto said that Kenya would follow the membership process because there is a lot to gain for the country and the region.

“We want to develop vaccines in Kenya that is why we started the Kenya Biovax Institute as a vehicle for working with other stakeholders and institutions,” President Ruto said.

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Biovax is a state cooperation tasked with the mandate of manufacturing packaging and commercialization of specialized health products and technologies, including vaccines and therapeutics.

The President said that the country would work with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), IVI, and other institutions to produce pharmaceuticals and develop vaccines.

The International Vaccine Institute is a treaty-based international organization with its headquarters in South Korea, where the Institute maintains diplomatic privileges and immunities.

IVI member states publicly affirm their appreciation of IVI’s efforts to share the vision of a world free of infectious diseases and do support the institute’s initiatives.

In Africa, some of the countries that are member states of the institute include Egypt, Rwanda, Senegal, and Liberia.

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Some states that have submitted their membership requests and are waiting for approval are Argentina, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Madagascar, the Slovak Republic, and Sudan.

The institute’s mission is to discover, develop and deliver safe, effective, affordable vaccines for global public health.

Early this year, during the UN General Assembly, President Ruto reiterated the need for all stakeholders in the health sector globally to unify and end future pandemics and endemics.

The president said that the lack of global unity was an impediment to the proper implementation of long-term partnerships critical to building resilient health systems worldwide.

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