President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the Government is mobilizing resources for the local production of the coronavirus vaccines.
To that end, he said his administration was keen, in the light of the geopolitics of vaccines, to provide state health institutions all the assistance to achieve that objective as soon as practicable.
The President said this in relation to a question on the country’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, during the launch of the Ghana Financing Roadmap for the realization of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S) at the Jubilee House, Accra on Tuesday.
He noted, Ghana, like many other developing counties, had had the fragility of their economies and the vulnerability of the various demographics exposed as a result of the pandemic.
However, procuring vaccines to inoculate the mass of the people in order to get their economies running, President Akufo-Addo indicated, had become a challenge because of the global shortage of vaccines.
“Unfortunately, we are the victims of these world-wide shortage of vaccines. Humanity, especially the poorer less-advantaged nations are experiencing hardship in having access to vaccines,” he said.
The President said the situation and the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic had provided very important lessons on the need for self-reliance in the areas of vaccines in the future.
Ghana and other developing nations, he noted, cannot continue to rely on foreign tax payers for support in the event of a pandemic of that nature.
“We cannot continue to be reliant or dependent on alms and charity of foreigners and foreign tax payers for our basic sustenance…we need to be able to put in place the structures that would enable us in future not to be caught with our pants down, and that is why we have to learn and find the avenues to produce our own vaccines.”
Ghana has so far, through the UN-facilitated COVAX facility, received some 1.2 million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccines to carrry out its vaccination programme. So far, 350,000 people have had their required double doses, whilst a further 800,000 persons have taken first shots.
Government is looking at inoculating 20 million Ghanaians by the end of the year.
President Akufo-Addo said he was determined to ensure that Ghana became self-reliant in the production of vaccines.
“I am particularly keen on providing the assistance for the institutions of our country to do so, adding that his government was doing its best to mobilize all resources available to ensure that a roadmap being worked by the National Committee established to formulate a concrete plan for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana comes to fruition.
He was hopeful that the Committee would soon define that roadmap and get the private sector involved at the manufacturing stage.