President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted his government’s decision to establish a National Vaccine Institute with a committed seed fund of US$25million to spearhead the manufacture of vaccines to meet national and regional needs.
The President disclosed this during his 26th update on measures taken by the government to reduce the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country on July 25.
“Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year, into this enterprise,” the president revealed.
According to him, the establishment of the institute is based on a recommendation by a committee chaired by Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, which was tasked to investigate Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub.
“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.”
President Akufo-Addo said, the Institute will be charged with delivering six clear mandates; establishing local vaccine manufacturing plants, deepening Research and Development (R&D) for vaccines in Ghana and upgrading and strengthening the FDA.
The rest are; 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, building the human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacture, and establishing a permanent national secretariat to coordinate vaccine development and manufacture.
The President said the establishment of the institute has been necessitated by the global shortage of vaccines.
“The global shortage of vaccines means that we must develop our capacity to produce our own vaccines domestically, and reduce our dependence on foreign supplies. We must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare ourselves better to deal with any such occurrences in the future.”