The West African Health Organisation (WAHO), an organ of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), is working with five potential vaccine manufacturers to produce vaccines including COVID-19 vaccines for the sub-region and export to other countries around the world.
Some of the companies have set August and September this year to start building their plants and subsequently start manufacturing vaccines in 2022.
The 5 companies
The selected potential manufacturers are DEK Consortium and Atlantic Life Science from Ghana, Innovative Biotech and Biovaccines of Nigeria and Pasteur Institute in Dakar.
Institutions that have made commitments and sponsoring the local vaccine manufacturers include Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), West African Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (WAPMA), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa Regional Office and Mastercard Foundation
The Director-General of WAHO, Professor Stanley Okolo, announced this in Accra at a high-level meeting to consider efforts being made to boost vaccine manufacturing in the ECOWAS region.
This meeting, which is being held in Accra, is being done in collaboration with the Africa Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and vaccine manufacturers from the sub-region.
Prof Okolo said, the objective of the meeting is to build a strong collaboration between these manufactures and not to create competition among them.
He explained that some of the potential manufacturers had signed agreements with global vaccine manufacturers to do fill-and-finish and later manufacture their own vaccines.
Only 1% of vaccines used in Africa are produced locally
He said presently, only one per cent of vaccines used in Africa are produced locally.
60% local production target by 2024
Prof Okolo noted that the vision is to achieve a 60% increase by the year 2024, stressing that the continent has all the rudiments and building blocks to make this happen.
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