Anesthesiologist and Covid-19 ICU Team Leader at the Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN), USA, has lauded the Ghanaian government’s efforts towards manufacturing vaccines locally.

Joining discussions on government’s steps in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic on Joy News’ Newsfile, Saturday, Dr Samuel Kojo Amoakohene said it is incredible news.

“We need to be more proactive. We can’t always rely on the West to help us out. In the US right now, we have millions of vaccines. People are not even taking them.  

 “We have millions of vaccines that we are sitting on, and yet countries like Ghana can’t get those vaccines,” he told the host, Samson Lardy Anyenini.

Highlighting some challenges with acquiring Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Amoakohene said reports he received from his colleagues in South Africa revealed that vaccines promised on the global stage to Africa are delaying.

“And so if you cannot vaccinate your people quickly enough, you are at the risk of having various different variants coming in. So it’s essential that we really put these efforts in place.”

He said that if Ghana successfully manufactures a vaccine, it would be at the forefront of vaccine production in Africa.

Meanwhile, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana ( PSGH) has announced that at least four local pharmaceutical manufacturers are ready to provide the Ghanaian market with Covid-19 vaccines.

The announcement comes after government revealed that local options for production, are being pursued following setbacks encountered with procurement on foreign markets.

Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, said his outfit is already in talks with these local companies to facilitate production.

“Their strategy is to do what they call filling and packing first; then the science community will also take some time to start developing a vaccine in our country. So that area is also seriously being considered, and we are actually on course in that direction,” Mr Agyeman-Manu said.

Dr Amoakohene said giving the pharmaceutical companies the licence to produce Covid-19 vaccines would boost economic development by creating more jobs.

“And Ghana would then be able to produce vaccines for the rest of Africa, for example. That alone can change the fortunes of the country. I think it’s a great idea if we can put our resources to work.”