Ehanire unveils plan for COVID-19 vaccine production in Nigeria
Lagos under severe strain of third wave of pandemic, says commissioner
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, yesterday, said plans were underway to conclude a bid for Nigeria to be a manufacturing centre for COVID-19 vaccines.
The minister disclosed this during the commissioning of an ultra-modern factory in Ogun State by the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
The factory is expected to produce 21 million bottles of Intravenous Fluid (IV fluids) yearly to tackle various health issues and aid treatment of COVID-19 in the country.
He said: “As we are seeking opportunities with foreign partners to deliver vaccines for Nigeria and Africa, Nigeria is making a bid to be a manufacturing centre for COVID-19 vaccines because the market is here and with the view to address anything like this, if it springs up in the future.
“Those countries that produced vaccines took care of themselves well before they took care of us. So, the African Union (AU) has made it a point to support domestic or continental vaccine manufacturing for which we are bidding.”
Managing Director of Med-In Pharmaceuticals Limited, Dr. Tola Awosika, who stated that throughout the pandemic, the company worked every day to meet up with record of improving production of 400 bottles of IV fluids per hour, said that a target of 50 million bottles in the next 24 months would be completed soon.
Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, noted that one thing COVID-19 has done to the industry was to enable preparation for outbreak of diseases in many ways.
He revealed that Lagos State is under severe strain of the third wave of COVID-19 with no facility and isolation centre to accommodate victims.