Tuesday, August 31 2021
"If covid-19 pandemic has not taught us anything at all, it has taught us to be self reliant as a nation", President Akuffo Addo told chiefs and people of Techiman during his recent tour to the region.
The Ghanaian leader who has been lauded by many international organizations including WHO for his handling of the pandemic is fighting to make Ghana the African hub for covid-19 vaccines. Nana Addo announced this during his 26th address to the nation on measures put in place to control the effects of covid-19.
In his speech, the president was optimistic that, Ghana needed to produce covid-19 vaccines locally due to the mad rush for the vaccine from current producers. This was after government had failed to secure some 20 million doses of covid-19 vaccines before June. While not giving up the search for the vaccines from international producers, President Akuffo Addo commissioned the Prof. Frimpong Baoteng's committee to do a feasibility study on Ghana's ability to produce vaccines locally.
During the sod cutting for agenda 111, the president announced that the committee had concluded that the government needed to set up a vaccine production centre. He also announced a $20m seed money to set up the centre. Since then, the committee has been meeting various stakeholders in the chain of production for advise and updates.
Today, the committee met with the Chamber of Pharmacy Ghana in Accra. In his briefing, Prof. Frimpong told the chamber that, the Government was working around the clock to ensure commercial production of AstraZeneka vaccine in Ghana kicked off before the year runs out. He said the necessary consultations were ongoing in India and soon a technical team will arrive in the country to take selected Ghanaian pharmacists through the process of manufacturing covid-19 vaccines locally.
But in response, Chairman of National Executive Council of Chambers of Pharmacy Ghana disagreed with the Government's position. According to Dr. Harrison Kofi Abutite, Ghana was not in the position of producing vaccines in the short to medium terms. He said vaccine production was a serious business which should not be rushed simply because we wanted to achieve a target at all cost. The pharmacist observed that a single mistake one will make in producing vaccine can lead to unrepairable damage.
He therefore advised that, Ghana should rather seek to package vaccine locally in the medium term while real-time production goes into the long term.
This position by the chamber of pharmacy contradicts the position of the President who is eager to see to it that Ghana produced vaccine locally as soon as possible.
The question is will you take covid-19 vaccine rushly produced in Ghana? Take to the comments section and share your thoughts with us.
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