The Federal government’s efforts to attain local vaccine production and reduce dependence on imported vaccines have been significantly boosted with the launch of the National Plan for Vaccine Research and Development and Local Production on Friday.

Tunji Alausa, the Minister of State for Health and Social Welfare, while highlighting the anticipated significance of the project in facilitating the operationalization of vaccine development, emphasized that it would provide a blueprint for the entire process of vaccine production within the country.

Alausa observed that the National Plan was meticulously crafted through an innovative bottom-up methodology, ensuring that the results of the efforts would be highly beneficial in complementing the National Vaccine Policy. During the unveiling of the Plan in Abuja on Friday, Alausa revealed that the project was the result of a year-long collaboration between the European Union, the Bulgarian Government, and the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) on behalf of the Nigerian Government.

Alausa applauded the NIPRD for spearheading the project and expressed confidence that with the support of both local and international partners, Nigeria’s endeavors in thematic areas would swiftly progress.

“Even as you have now moved to support the next phase of this project, which will lead us to look at domesticating vaccine production”, added.

On behalf of the Bulgarian Government, the Bulgarian Ambassador to Nigeria, Yanko Yordanov, commended Nigeria through the Ministry of Health for the opportunity to be part of the nation’s critical health initiative. The envoy promised further support and collaboration from his government to facilitate in-depth research activities in Nigeria.

Ambassador Samuela Isopi, represented by Prof Ben Amor Mathieu, appreciated the Plan’s strong alignment with the priorities of the European Union while commending NIPRD for its timely intervention and endeavors to establish Nigeria as a hub for medicine production in the African sub-region.

Earlier in his remark, the Director-General of NIPRD, Obi Adigwe, reassured that with appropriate support and prioritization, the Institute could facilitate the establishment of up to three vaccine plants in Nigeria within the duration of the plan.

While commending the Federal government under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the confidence reposed in the Institute, Adigwe also expressed appreciation for the necessary support given to the Institute to perform optimally in the spirit of the Renewed Hope Agenda.

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