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General News of Friday, 27 August 2021

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

We need $200 million to manufacture coronavirus vaccines - Prof. Frimpong-Boateng

Chair of the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng Chair of the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng

Chairman of the Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee Prof. Kwabene Frimpong-Boateng has disclosed that Ghana will need $200 million to fully manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.

According to him, the project will be a private-public partnership arrangement aimed at getting all involved.

He was speaking at a stakeholder workshop for members of the Presidential Press Corps in Accra.

He said some local pharmaceutical companies have already expressed readiness in partnering with the project.

“The consortium of three pharmaceutical companies; DANADAMS, Ernest Chemists, and Kinapharma have gone ahead to pay a deposit for a plant so that we can produce the vaccine in Ghana.

"But if we want to do that, you have to order the equipment, but if you place an order, it takes 14 months before it is delivered. The installation, tech-transfer, bulk supply of vaccines from elsewhere will take about two years.”

“What is happening now is that our partners from Germany have helped us to locate a plant that was delivered to a company in Europe, but they did not use it.

"We know where it is, that is why the government has given an off-take to place an order for that plant. We hope that it will arrive by end of this year, installed, and then by next year we will be able to do a fit and finished vaccine in Ghana,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo in his 26th update on measures taken by the government to manage the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus announced that his administration would invest some US$25 million as seed money towards the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute.

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.

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