The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has announced that Covid-19 vaccines will be manufactured in the sub-region by September of this year.
Professor Stanley Okolo, Director-General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), who made the announcement, said five manufacturers from Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria had already been chosen to participate in the programme.
The project will cost $122 million and will be completed in five years. According to reports, the sub-region needs around 370 million immunizations.
“We will strike the ground by July, 2022, and in 12 months put up the facility and start with the trials,” said Kofi Nsiah Poku, Managing Director of DEK Vaccines, one of the selected producers in Ghana.
“We will ensure that the first COVID-19 vaccine is developed in Ghana and distributed throughout Africa by 2024,” he added.
WAHO is having a high-level meeting in Accra with vaccine manufacturers in the sub-region to design a framework for the producers to work together to build the regional hub.
The Africa Centre for Disease Control is hosting the two-day meeting (CDC).
Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, Chairman of the Vaccine Manufacturing Committee, and Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health, are two of the speakers.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion Mamadou Traore believes that Africa will develop a vaccine production powerhouse. She believes that if all parties involved work together, the region can achieve this.
As of May 1, 2022, there had been 837,442 Covid-19 instances reported, with 11,348 deaths.
The COVAX Facility and other donors have provided the region with 179,122,060 vaccination doses thus far.
Source: The Independent Ghana