The Nigerian Medical Association has urged the Federal Government to take the Local Vaccines Production (LVP) pipeline seriously and says the FG’s Joint Venture deal with May and Baker Plc should be prioritised to ensure the success of Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd.
The NMA disclosed this in a statement after its Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting (AGC/ADM) in Jos, Plateau on Wednesday themed, “Nigeria and the Global Health Agenda 2030.”
What the NMA is saying about vaccine production
“We strongly appeal to the Federal Government to spare no efforts at ensuring success of the renewed initiative with the inauguration of the Biovaccines Nigeria Ltd., a joint venture between the Federal Government and May & Baker Nigeria Plc.
The NMA will be very pleased if the initiative is realised so as to reduce the over-dependence on other countries and achieve self-sufficiency in vaccine production,” they said.
They added that Nigeria once had the capacity to produce Yellow Fever vaccines through the Federal Vaccines Production Laboratory, Yaba and expressed concerns that the project was ended in 1991.
They also warned that Nigeria was facing an existing crisis of emerging infectious diseases including Covid, which could be a catalyst for other non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and called on the FG to properly fund Healthcare related institutions and improve working environments for doctors and all health workers in Nigeria.
What you should know
Earlier this year, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, announced the release of the sum of N10 billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus, coming after reports in November 2020, where the Health Minister announced Nigeria’s plans to set up a vaccine production company in Nigeria to boost local COVID-19 vaccine production.
The US government also announced their support of a waiver on Intellectual Property Protections on Covid-19 vaccine development, in the bid to boost the fight against the pandemic, and said they would participate in the Okonjo-Iweala-led WTO negotiation to make it happen.