Ghana Committee updates stakeholders on roadmap to COVID-19 vaccine production

The Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee Thursday held a stakeholders engagement to update them on its recent tour of some European countries on Ghana’s quest to manufacture Covid-19 vaccines locally.

Professor William Kwabena Ampofo, Secretary to the Committee and Head of Virology Department of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, said Ghana needed about $200 million to fully develop and manufacture COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines for various infectious diseases locally.

The amount, he said, would go into the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute, vaccine secretariat, procurement of vaccine plants, technology transfer, installation of equipment, licensing of intellectual property rights, research, clinical trials, among others.

He said government alone wouldn’t be able to finance the programme and would require partnerships with the private sector as well as bilateral and multilateral cooperation for funding.

Prof. Ampofo gave the assurance that the National Vaccine Institute would be set up by the end of this year.

Additionally, Ghana would be able to procure and install a vaccine manufacturing plant within a period of two years.

On the roadmap towards the production of local vaccines, Prof. Ampofo said it was a short, medium, and long-term measure and believed that by 10 years, Ghana would be a hub for manufacturing and production of vaccines in the sub-region.

The stakeholder’s engagement, which was moderated by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at Alisa Hotel, Accra, also allowed other stakeholders to participate virtually.

The meeting aimed at enriching the discussions towards the production of local vaccines, which saw key stakeholders participating both in-person and virtually.

Dr Francis Kasola, the Country’s Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), expressed the Organisation’s solidarity with Ghana Government’s plans to manufacture vaccines locally.

Ambassador Nicaise Ndembe of the African Centre for Disease Control, took the opportunity to explain the African Union’s plans to produce 60 per cent of the Continent’s vaccines by 2040.

He said the European Union and the Mastercard Foundation had made financial contributions towards that endeavour.

The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in a goodwill message read by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah expressed its readiness to help find investors to invest in the country’s quest to produce vaccines.

Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), said the Authority was poised to develop an institutional plan towards the manufacturing of vaccines locally.

She said Ghana was in stage three of regulatory maturity and prepared to aid in all aspects of vaccine production including monitoring, clinical trials, cold chain storage, and safe deployment of the vaccines.

President Akufo-Addo in his 26th national broadcast on Covid-19 update, announced the government’s plans to establish a National Vaccine Institute with a $25 million start-up capital.

Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, a renowned Cardiovascular Scientist, chairs the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee.

Other members of the Committee include Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health, and Dr Anarfi Asamoah Baah, the Coordinator of Ghana’s Covid-19 Response Programme.

Source: GNA

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