Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry plans to set up a pharmaceutical factory in Mecca to produce vaccines against common diseases, Arab News has reported. The factory is to produce vaccines for meningitis, seasonal influenza, whooping cough, diphtheria, tetanus, Haemophilus influenza, Hepatitis B and others. Novartis Pharmaceutical is expected to supervise the transfer of technology and also manufacture of the vaccines during the next two decades. The facility is scheduled to commence commercial production in the first quarter of 2011.