Ghana to establish vaccine plant in the next 2 years – Nana Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has disclosed that Ghana plans to establish a national vaccine institute, whose mandates will include establishing local vaccine manufacturing plants, deepening research and development for vaccines in the next two years.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The plant to be set up in the country he said will help the local production of COVID-19 vaccines to help in the fight against the pandemic as well as Tuberculosis and malaria vaccines.

Speaking at a COVID-19 high-level meeting in Marburg, Germany on measures taken against the spread of the virus, the President stated that "In the short term, that is in two years, our goal is to set up one domestic vaccine manufacturing plant to fill, finish and package COVID-19 and other vaccines… and to strengthen research and development for vaccine production."

Ghana, Rwanda, and Senegal are partnering with German biotechnology company, BioNTech SE, to fill, finish, and package BioNTech mRNA vaccines in Africa, as a first step in the chain of domestic vaccine production which will improve vaccine supply in Africa.

Describing the modular production facility as a "BioNTainer", it will consist of one drug substance and one drug product module, each built of six ISO-sized containers. They are clean rooms that BioNTech equips with state-of-the-art semi-automated manufacturing solutions.

Each module requires 800 sqm of space and offers an estimated capacity of several hundred of million doses of mRNA-based vaccines depending on the specific vaccine.

The BioNTainer will be equipped to manufacture a range of mRNA-based approved or authorized vaccines targeted to the needs of people in African Union member states, like BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, and its malaria and tuberculosis vaccines if they are successfully developed and approved.

The first BioNTainer is expected to be shipped to the African Union in mid-2022. BioNTech expects to ship BioNTainers to Rwanda and Senegal in close alignment with the respective country and the African Union. BioNTech will be responsible for the delivery and set-up of the modules, while local authorities and governments will ensure the needed infrastructure.

Ghana will support manufacturing with fill-and-finish capacities. In cooperation with WHO, Africa CDC/AMA, and the European Union, BioNTech is supporting, identifying, and setting up the necessary regulatory framework.

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