The federal government has formally unveiled the national plan for vaccine research and development to aid local production of vaccines.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, Dr. Tunji Alausa, said the plan was comprehensively developed from a novel bottom-up approach to ensure sustainability.
He explained that the research document was made possible by the year-long collaboration between the European Union, the Bulgarian Government, and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) on behalf of the Nigerian Government.
Alausa said that the outcome of these efforts was highly desirable to complement the National Vaccine Policy.
On the proposed impact of the project on the operationalisation of the vaccine development in the country, the minister said the plan will serve as a template to guide the end-to-end production of vaccines.
Alausa applauded the efforts of NIPRD for taking the lead in this initiative, as well as local and international partners for supporting Nigeria’s efforts in this thematic area.
“I will commend you, even as you have now moved to support the next phase of this project, which will lead us to look at domesticating vaccine production,” Alausa said.
In his remark on behalf of the Bulgarian Government, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Yanko Yordanov, commended the Ministry of Health for the opportunity to be part of what he christened “This critical health initiative.”
He, however, assured of his government’s continuous support and partnership towards the contextual exploration of high-level research activities in Nigeria.
On her part, Ambassador Samuela Isopi, commended NIPRD for the timely intervention and its efforts at ensuring that Nigeria becomes a hub of production of medicines in the African sub-region.
The Ambassador, who was represented by Prof. Ben Amor Mathieu, reiterated the strong alignment of the Plan with the priorities of the European Union.
Earlier in his remark, the Director-General of NIPRD, Dr. Obi Adigwe, assured that with the relevant support and prioritisation, the Institute could midwife the establishment of up to three vaccine plants in Nigeria within the lifespan of the plan.
He commended the federal government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for having confidence in the Institute and also giving it all the necessary support to perform optimally in the spirit of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
SOURCE: This Day