Ghana has set a target to establish a vaccine manufacturing plant in the next year.
“Two weeks ago, we presented a charter of the national vaccine institute to the President and if it is approved, the Minister of Health will prepare a Cabinet memo on this topic for presentation to Cabinet. If approved, it will then go to Parliament for a law to passed establishing this institute that is to coordinate the production of vaccine,” the Chairman of the Committee, Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has revealed.
He added that “This is an emergency and we need to work so that by next year or so, we will get a vaccine made in Ghana.”
President Akufo Addo, few months ago, set up the National Vaccine Development Committee to formulate a concrete plan of action towards vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana.
Speaking at a stakeholder engagement session to provide update on progress of work, Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng said, the private sector is leading the process.
“This process is private sector led and as Prof mentioned DEK, that’s the consortium of these three companies Danadams, Ernest Chemist and Kinapharma, people are ahead to pay a deposit for a fill and finish plant,” he indicated.
He also noted that their partners in Europe have helped to locate a manufacturing plant, adding that government has given the go ahead for an uptake, therefore the plant would be in Ghana soon.
He emphasised that the Committee’s mandate is to keep the institution running.
“This Committee, we have a very short mandate. By the end of the year, we should get the institute running and then other people will take over the work we are doing and establish the institute and let it run. I don’t think most of us will be part of the new team that is coming.
He added that to keep the institution running when another government takes over, “the Committee is under the office of the President.”
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Ghana Covid-19 response team, Dr Anarfi Asamoah Baah says government is facilitating discussion with manufacturers of some of the Covid-19 vaccines to enable local pharmaceutical companies copy and produce it here under a fill and finish initiative.