Govt allocates US$25m seed funding for National Vaccine Institute

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President Akufo-Addo delivering one of his Coronavirus updates President Akufo-Addo delivering one of his Coronavirus updates

• Government will build a National Vaccine Institute on the advice of a Committee of experts

• US$25 million seed money has been allocated as seed funding

• President Akufo-Addo disclosed the move in his 26th national Coronavirus address on July 25

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng Committee on local vaccine manufacturing has presented its report.

The renowned physician and cardiothoracic surgoen earlier this year was tasked with leading a government a committee aimed at investigating Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub in the wake of global scarcity of coronavirus jabs.

Speaking on Sunday, July 25, during the president’s 26th Coronavirus address which was carried live on his Facebook page, Akufo-Addo announced that a National Vaccine Insitute will be established with seed money of some US$25 million.

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The president said: “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.

“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,” he stressed.

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Prior to leading this Committee, Frimpong-Boateng’s last held government appointment was as Minister or Environment, Science and Technology.

His time at the Ministry was dogged with a series of scandals relating to the fight against illegal small scale mining activities (galamsey), he was not handed a portfolio after Akufo-Addo secured a second term in post-December 2020 elections.

About vaccine manufacturing plans

President Akufo-Addo said his government has committed to inject seed funding of some twenty-five million United States dollars (US$25 million) this year into this whole enterprise.

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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.

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