FG begins local vaccine manufacturing plan

At last, the Federal Government, yesterday, in Abuja, kick-started plan to locally manufacture human vaccines, with the first meeting of the Inter Ministerial Steering Committee and Technical Working Group on Local Vaccine Manufacturing.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in his speech, said: “It is my honour to address everyone at this important event, we have been striving for – the inauguration of the Inte-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) – on domestic human vaccine manufacturing, in line with the Nigeria Vaccine Policy (NVP).”

He said local and international experts in vaccine research and development developed the policy and administration under the leadership and guidance of the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), with regard to recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Ehanire appealed at a time when the global community faces the urgent need to develop a vaccine to combat the pandemic.

The minister said the national vaccine policy provides for local production of human vaccines to ensure self-sufficiency. His words: “Vaccine nationalism that reserves all globally, produces vaccines only for technologically advanced, high income countries and poses threat to national and health security architecture of Nigeria and most African countries, prompting the Federal Government to raise priority for acquisition and institutionalisation of capacity for domestic vaccine manufacturing, as quickly as possible.”

He said the political will and commitment of government were to make Nigeria a hub for production of high quality, affordable and efficacious vaccines.
Ehanire said the nation had interest in Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, a manufacturing company incorporated to produce routine EPI vaccines that are also participating in efforts to produce COVID-19 vaccines, courtesy of the WHO.

He, however, said to “utilise the diverse possibilities offered by the novel nRNA vaccine technology for use in other areas of vaccine need, both the ones we know of, or as yet unknown, much research and development work is needed. The Federal Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, therefore, came together to explore the enormous potential at the National Veterinary Research Institute in Vom, to collaborate, by sharing knowledge, skills, expertise and valuable human resource and physical assets, where they are in common, in a bid to leapfrog vaccine research and development for human vaccines along parallel production lines of human and Veterinary vaccines.”

Source: Guardian.ng

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