The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on 9th May 2023, commissioned an ultra-modern office complex to serve as the strategic coordinating entity for vaccine research, development, and manufacturing in Ghana.
It will be recalled that on 28th February, 2021, President Akufo-Addo inaugurated a Presidential Committee on Vaccine Development and Manufacturing to give concrete expression to the vision of becoming self-sufficient in the domestic production of vaccines and also to implement the revived National Strategic COVID 19 Response Plan, 2020 to 2024.
According to President Akufo-Addo, “not only did COVID 19 disrupt health systems and ravaged economies, but it also laid bare the vulnerability of countries and exposed our dependent on developed countries for the acquisition of vaccines.”
Explaining further, he said, “our nation’s attainment of low-middle income status also meant that we have to transition fully from the Global vaccine alliance support by 2027.
Simply put, the world was putting us on notice till we start taking responsibility for our routine vaccine needs within four years which is estimated at some USD 30million per year.”
He added that, “with limited bargaining power to negotiate directly with COVID 19 vaccine manufacturers, government relied on two multilateral initiatives to procure COVID 19 vaccines, the COVAX facility, and the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team at that to receive enough vaccines for 20% of the population and also on direct purchases of vaccines from the international market.”
Targeted at making Ghana the pan-African hub for vaccines, the establishment of the National Vaccine Institute and the accompanying laws has been a collaborative effort with key partners, involving private sector pharmaceutical companies, academic and research institutions, GIZ, The EU, and the World Health Organisation.
With the short-term goal to finish and package COVID-19, Malaria, and Tuberculosis Vaccines within two years, he added that the medium-term target “is to continue the establishment of more domestic vaccine manufacturing plants, in the country to manufacture vaccines to meet the WHO, GNP standards with the long-term target being to produce a Candidate Vaccine in ten years using innovative technologies.”
In line with the Provisions of the National Vaccines Act, Article 1097 of 2023, President Akufo-Addo earlier today inaugurated the Governing Board of the National Vaccine Institute at the Jubilee House.
It is Chaired by renowned former WHO Deputy Chief, Dr. Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, and Prof. William Kwabena Ampofo as the Chief Executive Officer, the Governing Board also has Dr. Baffour -Awuah, representing the Ministry of Health, as well as others from the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation, the Attorney-General’s office, Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Standards Authority, the President of the Pharmaceutical Association, Manufacturers Association of Ghana, the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences