By Bright Ntramah.
The Committee set up by President Akufo-Addo to look into the possibility of Ghana producing its own vaccine has set up an ambitious target of the country achieving the feat within two years.
To this end, the government is negotiating with major vaccine companies for the property rights for the vaccine to perform what scientists call ‘’fill and finished’’.
At a stakeholders’ meeting in Accra with members of the Presidential Press Corps., the Coordinator of Ghana’s Coronavirus response programme who is also a member of the Board, Professor Anerfi Asamoah Baah, spoke about Ghana’s commitment to producing vaccines.
‘’These are already known vaccines. We only need to copy and we need the government to facilitate. The second thing is for the future. That is where the Institute needs to be supported to have the ability to do and invest in research.’’
The Committee has budgeted $200 million in the next 10 years, for Ghana to produce vaccines for other diseases. This is a private sector-led initiative with the government playing the coordinating role. Chairman of the Committee, Professor Frimpong Boateng said some local manufacturing companies have formed a consortium to raise funds for manufacturing of the vaccines.
‘’We are not saying we need $ 200 million before we are able to do anything. The consortium has paid a deposit; the process has begun. By next year we should be able to do a fit and fill,’’ Professor Frimpong Boateng stated.