Doris Obinna

The Board of Biovaccines Nigeria Limited (BVNL) has said that strategies have been put in place to ensure vaccines are produced within the quickest timeframe.

The board said it is also working, not only to meet the stipulated time fame of 3-4 years, but to also ensure it produces vaccines of highest quality in a sustainable manner, which will be of no harm to Nigerians.

This was disclosed at a press conference following the board’s second meeting,  held in Lagos.

The Chairman, Biovaccine Board, Prof. Oyewale Tomori said the board has reviewed and approved business plans needed for the company to begin it’s activities, adding that vaccine production requires highly technical and complex technology, which needs time to perfect.

He said, though, the required time for implementation of the vaccine production in the market would take a long period of time, expatriate and relevant government agencies have been engaged to shorten the process without making quality compromise.

He said the board is mindful of the fact that many Nigerians and stakeholders in the health sector are in a hurry to see the country produce her own vaccines to ameliorate the huge burden posed by diseases, particularly on children and mothers, noting that the board is putting strategies in place to deliver their expectations.

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“We shall take calculated steps to ensure we get everything right. We are already addressing the challenges from all angles so we don’t fall to where the old vaccine production company fell. We won’t follow the old system, we want to provide quality vaccines that will cause no harm to Nigerians,” he said.

Tomori said in order to ensure quality production for the first time, the team is working with foreign technical team, comprising of international expert vaccines and biological technology to develop and implement a robust business plan.

The Virologist noted that the team has undertaken a robust feasibility studies, as it evaluated all strategic options and recommendations that underpinned their strategic direction.

Speaking on the strategic framework, the Chief Executive Officer, May & Baker, Nnamdi Okafor said to ensure the rapid production of the vaccine, the Biovac Institute South Africa and Biovaccinne Nigeria have agreed to collaborate to build capacity for vaccines and biologicals in Africa, and to hold hands through mutual exchanges in technology, processes and expertise.

He said though, sustainability and governance remains the major challenges in Nigeria, the company in a Public Private Partnership with the government will drive implementation of the vaccines production forward, with a view to providing sound health of the nation.

On production delay, the Director, Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Moshood Lawal, said it is to ensure the proper production without any form of compromise, adding that the project is a national project, which would be implemented in due time.