Uganda to manufacture Vaccines by 2023

The Minister of Health Jane Aceng last week revealed Uganda will be able to locally manufacture select vaccines by at least 2023. “There is need to have vaccines manufactured here, but also have the technology so that in future we are much better prepared for any such outbreaks that may take the world by surprise,” Aceng said

Aceng said this during the commissioning of Vaccine Access Initiative (VAI), a private vaccination facility located in Nakawa Division, Kampala. The facility which enshrines treatment rooms, laboratories, vaccine storage, has the capacity to handle at least 4000 clients per day each under 10 minutes.

The minister said the facility hands a boost to government’s drive to have 70% of the country’s population fully vaccinated. “The World Health Organisation [WHO] has stated very clearly that unless 70% of the entire population, don’t look at 18 years and above…then we can remove the masks, then we can resume our normal lives,” She stated

She said 48% of persons 18 and above are fully vaccinated making it 25% of the entire population and 59,000 people have received their booster dose. She also revealed that discussions are ongoing to have children vaccinated as well.

“We know there still myths and misconceptions surrounding vaccination, we also know that there are fears in hearts of many parents regarding vaccination of their children, this will not be done without consultation,” she said

Aceng said the vaccines at the facility will be completely free of charge but a service charge of UGX 20,000 will be met by the clients. “We do appreciate that the corporate and others who do not have time to go and line up in our free vaccination camps, therefore initiatives like this come in handy where many of you can drive in, get vaccinated and continue with your work.” She said

She stressed furthermore that having vaccines made locally is a step in the right direction since Uganda offers a wide range of vaccines and this will complement already existing plans to roll the Hepatitis B birth dose, yellow vaccine and polio oral vaccine.

VAI Director, Cedric Akwesigye they have in their storage a total of 2 million doses of Pfizer vaccine, but they will have to go through the National Medical Stores for distribution.

Akwesigye said construction works on the vaccine manufacturing plant had reached 70% and in at least 6 months they will be ready to roll out their first vaccine. However, the time will be reliant on how fast the technology transfers take and certifications from the National Drug Authority and WHO.

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