President Akufo-Addo Calls for Accelerated Vaccine Production in Africa at Global Forum

by Louisa Afful
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During his keynote at the Global Forum for Vaccine Sovereignty and Innovation, President Akufo-Addo stressed the critical need for Africa to boost sustainable vaccine production swiftly. This forum, hosted by France with the African Union and Gavi, is vital for advancing vaccine sovereignty and innovation.

President Akufo-Addo highlighted the recent approval of the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA) at the Gavi Board meeting in Accra. This initiative, driven by Gavi and the Africa CDC, supports the African Union’s goal to produce 60% of the continent’s vaccines by 2040.

Ghana’s strong commitment to vaccination was noted, with the President citing high immunization rates achieved through strategic campaigns and routine services. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s challenges, Ghana successfully incorporated COVID-19 vaccines into its routine immunization efforts, maintaining strong coverage.

However, the global COVID-19 vaccine rollout faced obstacles, including supply delays and vaccine hesitancy, impacting Ghana’s vaccination campaigns. President Akufo-Addo emphasized the importance of public-private partnerships to enhance vaccine production across Africa. Currently, Gavi funds about 80% of Ghana’s vaccine costs, with the government covering 15%. Plans are in place for Ghana to achieve full self-financing by January 2030, aiming for health financing independence.

Ghana is set to expand its vaccination program to include vaccines for Malaria, HPV, Hepatitis B, and additional IPV doses, targeting broader geographical coverage by 2030. The Health Financing Strategy 2023-2030 advocates for more investment in health resources, preventive services, and strategic regional partnerships.

In May 2023, Ghana established the Ghana National Vaccine Institute to oversee vaccine research, development, and manufacturing. The Institute focuses on setting up local manufacturing plants, enhancing workforce capacity, and collaborating with regulatory bodies for global standards and technology transfer.

Efforts to strengthen Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) include building cleanrooms, establishing a molecular biology lab, and upgrading regulatory systems to support local manufacturers like DEK Vaccines and Atlantic Lifesciences.

President Akufo-Addo concluded by praising the collaborative efforts behind the forum, expressing optimism for Africa’s future in sustainable vaccine production. He emphasized the forum’s significance in advancing global health.

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