FG Inaugurates Committees on Local Vaccine Production

FG Inaugurates Committees on Local Vaccine Production

The Federal Government has inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Steering Committee (IMSC) and Technical Working Group (TWG) on Local Vaccines in line with the Nigeria Vaccine Policy (NVP).

Inaugurating the two committees on Monday in Abuja, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said “The driving force of the NVP is to encourage local production of vaccines and to ensure self-sufficiency in vaccines availability, which will further boost the already existing National Immunization Policy”.

Explaining further, Dr. Ehanire said that the negative impact of COVID-19 on global community couple with the unequal distribution of vaccine poses a threat to the national security, hence the need for collaborative efforts towards local solution.

In his words, “As you are aware, vaccines nationalism poses a threat to the overall national security architecture of our dear Country, and the Government remains focused and determined to acquire capacities for local vaccines manufacturing as quickly as possible.
“The political will and commitment of government is focused on making our country a hub for the production of good quality, safe, affordable and efficacious vaccines”.

Members of the two Committees are drawn from relevant MDAs, Institutions, Private sectors and key opinion leaders in the relevant specialties.

The Minister highlighted the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the IMSC to include: Approve recommendations on vaccine production from the TWG; Provide financial and technical support to accomplish an effective functioning of the TWG, Provide sustainable financial support for local vaccine manufacturing, Any other relevant function.FG Inaugurates Committees on Local Vaccine Production

Those of the TWG include: Assess the local vaccine manufacturing capabilities of potential vaccine manufacturing facilities in the country and advise the Steering Committee as needed, Work with WHO to facilitate smooth knowledge transfer for local mRNA vaccine production, Advise the Steering Committee on the possible timeline for the take-off of the vaccine production;, Advise the Steering Committee on all engagements and collaboration in the area of local vaccine manufacturing, Determine the cost of the project and possible areas for resource mobilization;, to determine the legal framework for the local vaccine manufacturing;, Regularly review and communicate emerging issues on local vaccine manufacture, Review and monitor public concerns on local manufactured vaccines;, Planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating vaccine manufacturing; Constitute sub-committee as needed – such as finance committee – to ensure effective functioning of the project.
Dr. Ehanire also hinted that the IMSC will rely heavily on the technical expertise of the TGW to move the agenda forward for the Nigerian people, while providing the much-needed administrative support.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Mahmuda Mamman said that the event was not only timely but urgent considering the current global menace of COVID-19 and other vaccine preventable diseases that affects the under 5 in sub-Saharan Africa.FG Inaugurates Committees on Local Vaccine Production

Mahmuda noted that the “activity is in keeping with Nigeria’s commitment to continuing the implementation of the Nigeria Vaccine Policy with the mission to establishing governing structures for effective implementation of the vaccine policy to achieve local production of vaccines and assume ownership of vaccines supply chain management employing modern technologies and human resources towards the attainment of vaccines availability and self-sufficiency”.

While thanking Members of the Committees for heeding to the clarion call to rescue the world and the Nation in particular from the devastating impact of COVID-19 and other emerging diseases, he also acknowledged the technical and financial support provided by partners especially World Health Organization (WHO), in the development of the Nigeria Policy and for always standing by the government of Nigeria.

The IMSC will be meeting twice annually while the TWG will be meeting quarterly.

The Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, some Directors of the Ministry as well as Heads of Agencies, were present at the inauguration ceremony.

Blessing Egbo
A.A.. A Chindaya
Deputy Director, Media & Public Relations