Wednesday, 09 February 2022


WHO Director-General visits mRNA vaccine tech transfer hub in SA

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will join Belgium’s Minister of Development Cooperation, Ms Meryame Kitir, on a high-level visit to Cape Town, on 11-12 February, to visit the mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub and other facilities playing critical roles in the response to COVID-19 and protection of public health.

Dr Tedros and Minister Kitir will be hosted by South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Joe Phaahla, and the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Mr Buti Manamela.

They will visit facilities including Afrigen Biologics & Vaccines, the Biomedical Research Institute based at Stellenbosch University’s Tygerburg Medical Campus, and Biovac, among others.


Media opportunities

Site visits: Members of the media will be able to accompany the delegation during site visits. For more information on access, please contact: Veronica Mohapeloa at +27 (0) 83 400 5750 and, or Thabang Setlhare at +27 (0) 72 659 9690 and

Due to limited access, pool photographs and video will be offered from the visit to the Afrigen facility on 11 February. Photo and video opportunities will be available at other locations.

Press conference: On 11 February at 16:00, a press conference will be held at the Biomedical Research Institute based at Stellenbosch University’s Tygerburg Medical Campus.

Members of the media can join onsite and participate remotely at

For media attendance at the press conference, please RSVP with Veronica Mohapeloa at +27 (0) 83 400 5750 and, or Thabang Setlhare at +27 (0) 72 659 9690 and

The press conference can also be watched online at


More information:

The mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub

FAQ – The mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub:

The WHO announced last year that South Africa will host Africa’s first COVID mRNA vaccine technology transfer hub, an initiative is fully supported by the Government of South Africa, and numerous other countries and health partners.

South Africa was chosen as the host of the hub following a recommendation by the WHO’s Product Development for Vaccines Advisory Committee. The selection was based on the country’s available infrastructure and research platforms, scientific excellence, experience in technology transfer, and a strong public-private partnership consortium that straddles the full vaccine research, development and manufacturing value chain and.


Media contacts:

South African Department of Science and Innovation:
Veronica Mohapeloa, +27 (0) 83 400 5750 ,
Thabang Setlhare, +27 (0) 72 659 9690 ,

WHO Media inquiries
Telephone: +41 22 791 2222

Onsite during the visit:
Paul Garwood, +41796037294 ,
Eugene Mahlehla, +27 (82) 308-8853 ,
Media contacts at the Belgium Ministry of Development Cooperation:
Catherine De Bock, +32 477 89 09 29 ,