Nigeria seeks technology for local vaccine manufacturing – Minister 

The Federal Ministry of Health has said that emphasis is now shifting from the urgency for the country to manufacture its own vaccines, to have the basic technology to know how to produce vaccines.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja at the bi-weekly Ministerial Press briefing on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the country.

TheFederal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, had announced the sum of N10 billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight coronavirus.

Following the announcement of the disbursement of the sum to the Ministry of Health for the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Joint Committee scheduled a meeting with the Ministers of Finance and Health for clarifications on the funds.

On May 11, 2021, The Minister of Health, Ehanire, said that the N10 billion earmarked by the National Assembly for the local production of COVID-19 vaccines was intact while explaining why local manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccines cannot start in the country at the moment as the world continues to fight vaccines nationalism.

On April 21, 2022, President Muhammadu Buhari, directed the Minister of Health, to submit a progress report by the end of May 2022 on the indigenous production of vaccines in the country.

During the bi-weekly meeting, the minister said Nigeria is yet to make do with the 39,800,000 doses of vaccines procured by the Federal Government – The single-shot J&J vaccine through the African Vaccine Acquisition Team (AVAT) of the African Union, a facility provided by AFREXIMBANK,”.

“The country has been making use of donated vaccines,“ he said, indicating that Nigeria has learnt key lessons from the pandemic, including that countries must look inward for medical supplies and other health commodities.

“So the urgency to be producing our vaccines now is a bit reduced because we still have few donations. 

We have the ones that the government has procured that we are yet to use. The urgency is now to have the technology to know how to produce vaccines.

“So we have brought together all our experts, including the producers of vaccines and manufacturers to find a way to have the technology in case of future outbreaks.

“We’re bringing together all our research capacities or assets, to have that knowledge, that skill or the technology for indigenous domestic vaccines production in case of any other such attacks,” he explained.

The minister said that the Technical Working Group (TWG) on local vaccine manufacturing would pursue that avenue for research and development.

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