The government of Ghana is set to invest some US$25 million as seed money towards the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead the country’s efforts at producing vaccines locally.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, disclosed this during his 26th update on measures taken by the government to reduce the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.
He pointed out that the establishment of the institute forms part of recommendations by a committee established by the government to formulate a concrete plan for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana.
“We must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare ourselves better to deal with any such occurrences in the future. To this end, the Committee I established, under the leadership of the world-renowned Ghanaian scientist, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub, to meet national and regional needs, has presented its preliminary report which, amongst others, recommends the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead this development.”
The Institute, according to the President will be charged with delivering six clear mandates:
1. Establishing local vaccine manufacturing plants;
2. Deepening Research & Development (R&D) for vaccines in Ghana;
3. Upgrading and strengthening the FDA;
4. Forging bilateral and multilateral partnerships for vaccine manufacturing in various areas, such as funding, clinical trials, technology transfer, licensing, and assignment of intellectual property rights;
5. Building the human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacture; and
6. Establishing a permanent national secretariat to coordinate vaccine development and manufacture
The President has already admitted that the country is facing challenges with its vaccination programme due to the difficulty in getting access to COVID-19 vaccines.
He had earlier explained that the global politics on manufacturing, procurement and distribution is making the situation even more difficult.
The new Institute is thus expected to tackle government’s difficulty in procuring vaccines for the populace in Ghana and beyond the near future.