Ghana set to produce COVID-19 vaccines

Benjamin Kwame Botwe, the president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSG) has revealed at least four firms in the country are ready and awaiting approval from government to begin producing COVID-19 vaccines.

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the president, recently hinted of plans to engage local pharmaceutical firms to produce COVID-19 vaccines in Ghana to meet the country’s vaccine needs. It is against this backdrop that the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana has announced its readiness to manufacture the vaccines.

“The necessary infrastructure is available, the necessary human resource capacity is available. It can leverage technology transfer as quickly as possible and this is what has been done in countries like India and Brazil to deal with mass vaccination,” Botwe said.

He added: “When it comes to conditions to fulfil, sort of have an agreement with the foreign manufacturing companies that do the bulk, we need to look at issues of patent and we need to also look at issues of technology transfer.”

On his part, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, the minister of health has announced government has started with deliberations with local firms to provide all needed assistance for the production of vaccines.

“Their strategy is to do what they call filling and packing first then the science community will also take some time to start developing vaccine in our country. So that area is also seriously being considered and we are actually on course in that direction,” he said.

Ghana began its COVID-19 vaccination journey with 350,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) and the country is set to receive the first batch of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines in August this year from the Africa Medicines Platform alongside the Sputnik V vaccine from an intermediary.

Elliot Nuertey

Asaase Radio 99.5