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Akufo-Addo eyes establishment of local COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing plant within 2 years

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said Ghana’s target is to establish a COVID-19 vaccine plant within two years.

This manufacturing plant will deal with the fill and finish aspect of the vaccine.

Speaking at a COVID-19 forum in Germany, Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana is ready to help fight the pandemic on the African continent.

“In the short term, that is in two years, our goal is to set up one domestic vaccine manufacturing plant to fill, finish and package COVID-19 and other vaccines… and to strengthen research and development for vaccine production,” he said.

This target comes as Ghana, alongside Rwanda and Senegal, are partnering with German biotechnology company, BioNTech SE, to fill, finish, and package BioNTech mRNA vaccines in Africa.

This is expected to be the first step in the chain of domestic vaccine production, which will improve vaccine supply in Africa.

The agreement came after a meeting in Marburg, Germany, on Wednesday,  where President Akufo-Addo, together with Presidents Macky Sall and Paul Kagame of the Republics of Senegal and Rwanda respectively, witnessed the presentation of a BioNtech modular production facility solution for the production of mRNA vaccines in Africa.

The government plans to invest $25 million as seed money towards the establishment of a National Vaccine Institute to spearhead the country’s efforts at producing vaccines locally.

The Institute will also work towards Research & Development for vaccines in Ghana and building the human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacture.

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.

The Presidential Vaccine Manufacturing Committee has already indicated that Ghana would need $200 million to fully manufacture COVID-19 vaccines locally.

The project is envisioned to be a private-public partnership arrangement.

Africa is almost totally dependent on vaccine producers outside the continent, as it produces just 1 percent of the vaccines it administers.



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