The government is putting measures in place to procure about 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of June 2021, this is according to close sources at the Ministry of Health.
However, 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 and not a short term.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Citi News monitored by GhanaWeb, Lucia Addae, the Executive Secretary of the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana, explained that the financial burden of the country is already huge and the government’s plan to procure all vaccines from outside is going to increase the burden more.
“Our understanding is that government is bringing in some 17.6 million doses and that means that if you divide it by two because of 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 and not only rely on importing them.
“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.”
Meanwhile, the president in his last address indicated that “all things being equal, a total of 17.6 million vaccine doses should be procured for the Ghanaian people by the end of June 2021.”