As government works to procure some 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of June 2021, it has been urged to prioritize investing in systems that will guarantee the development of different vaccines in Ghana in the medium to long term.
Per the latest updates from the Ghana Health Service, which is up to February 10, 2021, active cases had risen to 8,216, whereas the number of deaths had also risen to 533, creating some anxiety about the country’s fight against the pandemic.
But all things being equal, a total of 17.6 million vaccine doses should be procured for the Ghanaian people by the end of June, according to President Akufo-Addo.
In an interview with Citi Business News, the Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana, Lucia Addae said the financial burden on the country will be huge if government procures all vaccines from outside.
“Our understanding is that government is bringing in some 17.6 million doses and that means that if you divide it by two because what we have available now, you need two doses (It’s the Johnson & Johnson type that you need one dose). So if you need two doses then the number we are bringing in by June will cater for 8.8 million people. Now what that means is that if we engage AstraZeneca, which is possibly the case, and it comes at about $4, then we are looking at $35.2 million, which is a lot of money.”
She also added that Ghana needs to develop the ability to produce vaccines locally for domestic and regional use.
“For us, there are one of two things. One, it takes about 50 million dollars to set up a manufacturing plant. The other thing is that we have a company in the country Transatlantic (Pharmanova) that has actually set up an ultra-modern facility, and they are rounding up, doing their clinical trials and all of that, and with a little help they can even do form and fill in the country which can help reduce the overall cost.”