The Special Adviser to the President on Health, Dr Salma Anas-Ibrahim, has expressed support for local vaccine production and believes it aligns with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government’s priorities.
Anas-Ibrahim, said this when Dr Simon Agwale, CEO of Innovative Biotech, Nigeria and Innovative Biotech USA Inc, and other management staff paid her a courtesy visit.
She commended Innovative Biotech for its commitment and perseverance. Noting that the work and interest in local vaccine production span over a few decades with courage and tenacity.
She said that were about eight key priority areas the Ministry of Health seeks to achieve in this new administration and local vaccine production was a top priority.
She said that the president’s renewed hope Agenda aligned with Innovative Biotech’s vision.
“However, there are a few other talented Nigerians with similar interest in Local vaccine production.
“The government is highly committed and would be willing to listen to them all,” she explained.
She said that local vaccine production would reduce cost and over-dependence on the importation of vaccines in the country.
“This will further increase vaccine access to the poor and most vulnerable population,” she said.
Earlier, Agwale said that global health security and pandemic preparedness was achievable through local vaccine manufacturing.
He said during COVID-19 Pandemic, it became very clear that Local Vaccine Production was key to enhancing health security in the country and the African continent.
The CEO highlighted the fact that Innovative Biotech has Intellectual property for some vaccines. Noting that It also has an exclusive licence for a couple of vaccines.
“The Indian approach to local production worked perfectly and some African Countries have started adopting the Indian model to enhance local vaccine production in Africa.
“Nigeria can as well adopt this approach to achieve local vaccine production where the government focuses on regulations and local production is left to the private sector.
“The government should create an enabling environment for the private sector to strive in Local Vaccine Production. This enabling environment could be a commitment in terms of grants, support or other incentives,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Innovative Biotech have always believed that local vaccine production can reduce costs and increase access to vaccines for vulnerable populations.
Its website also provides valuable insights into the importance of local vaccine production in enhancing health security in Nigeria and the African continent.