The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) says Ghana’s preparedness to produce its own vaccine is a laudable effort by the Nana Addo-led government.

President of the GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobea, believes it is nigh time the country looked in that direction.

The government of Ghana is set to invest some US$25 million as seed money towards the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute in a bid to produce COVID-19 vaccine locally.

President Akufo-Addo announced this in his 26th address to the nation on measures being implemented to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, on Sunday, July 25.

According to him, "the global shortage of vaccines" has necessitated the need for the country to "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. 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. Government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise.

The Institute 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.

In the short term, the Frimpong-Boateng Committee is facilitating the capacity of domestic pharmaceutical companies to fill and finish COVID-19 vaccines," Nana Akufo-Addo stated in his address.

The president of the association, Dr. Frank Ankobea who was speaking to NEAT FM’s morning show ‘Ghana Montie’ said “it’s time Ghana must stop begging for a vaccine. It’s too much.”

“Producing our own vaccine means we will be able to fight the covid which is vast spreading. Ghana Medical Association is more than happy for this announcement by the president,” he added

Ghana to invest $25m for local COVID-19 vaccine production

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says its government will invest a seed funding of 25 million U.S. dollars for the local production of COVID-19 vaccines.

In his address to the nation late Sunday on measures taken against the spread of the virus, president Nana Addo said the local production of the vaccine became necessary following a global shortage in recent times.

“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," the president said.

Adding that, "We must be self-sufficient in this regard... and prepare ourselves better to deal with any such occurrences in the future."