Ghana is to establish a national Vaccine Institute. This is contained in a proposal by the committee studying Ghana’s potential as a vaccine manufacturing hub in the sub region.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, who announced this in his 26th televised address to the nation on measures taken to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, said the Government was committed to injecting a seed funding of about US$25 million in the establishment of the Institute.
The committee, led by Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, a world-renowned Ghanaian Scientist, recommended that the Institute be established to facilitate the development of local vaccine manufacturing plants.
It will also pave way to deepen research and development for vaccines in Ghana, and upgrade and strengthen the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).
The President said the global shortage of vaccines meant that Ghana must develop its capacity to produce its own vaccines domestically, and reduce dependence on foreign supplies.
“We must be self-sufficient in this regard in the future, and prepare ourselves better to deal with any such occurrences in the future,” he said.
The establishment of the Institute is also expected to help forge bilateral and multilateral partnerships for vaccine manufacturing in areas like funding, clinical trials, technology transfer, licensing, and assignment of intellectual property rights.
President Akufo-Addo Addo said the Institute when established would be mandated to build the human resource base for vaccine discovery, development, and manufacture and also establishment a permanent national secretariat to coordinate vaccine development and manufacture.
Commenting on the high non- compliance rate of mask wearing , the President stressed that the wearing of masks in public places remained mandatory.
“There are no exceptions to this rule, and strict conformity with this protocol will be enforced, anyone found to be flouting this directive will have him or herself to blame, we cannot afford to allow the recklessness of a few to endanger the lives of the majority of persons in the country,” he said.
The President admonished businesses, workplaces and their owners and management to observe staff management and workplace protocols, such as the use of a shift system and technology, with workplaces currently witnessing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.
That, he said would help in achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols.
President Akufo-Addo Addo said the government would continue to ensure that all arriving passengers at the Kotoka International Airport were in possession of a negative PCR test result upon their arrival in Ghana.
He stated that all passengers would continue to be subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test on arrival.