The federal government in collaboration with the May and Baker has taken the bold step towards ending reliance on importation of some vaccines to immunize children against preventable diseases.
This is even as the federal government at the weekend inaugurated the Biovaccines committee for commencement of quality local vaccine production.
Biovaccines is a public private partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and a leading pharmaceutical company in the country, May and Baker Nigeria Plc.
The move became paramount after an outbreak of Meningitis C, which killed many children in 2017 due to lack of emergency health preparedness and reliance on importation of vaccines that were not readily available.
In a speech, the minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole commended the drug manufacturing company for its effort to make the plan work.
“I have no doubt that the board will deliver and make Nigeria proud. We have chosen a board that has no excuse to fail, the board has to deliver because Nigerians and the media are critical.
“We have learnt from the mistakes of the past, the name of May and Baker would be written in gold if the project succeeds, ” he said.
The Managing Director, May and Baker, Pharm Nnamdi Okafor said, it took over 10 years to arrive at the agreement, adding that, “the organisation has successfully engaged stakeholder groups to realise their plans and activities to the task of providing Nigeria, a sustainable programme of immunisation through local production of vaccines.”
Chairman of the local vaccine production committee, Prof Oyewale Tomori who assured Nigerians of the best said Nigeria will now be able to “produce those common vaccines from 2021 and beyond.”