Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Deputy Director General World Health Organisation, has said there is the need for Ghana to produce its own vaccines rather than rely on external suppliers during disease outbreaks.
He said it would take a collaborative effort from all stakeholders for Ghana to be able to produce its own vaccines.
“We all need to work together. They should not leave vaccine development to scientists but to all who can help to develop it,” Dr Asamoa-Baah said at the University of Ghana Alumni Lecture 2015 in Accra.
The event was on the topic: “Vaccines and Public Anxiety.”
He said there was the need to invest heavily in scientists and stakeholders in vaccine production since vaccine development was an arduous task.
“Vaccine is a very buoyant venture and when invested in will require adequate research, knowledge and understanding on the subject and time to yield its results,” he said.
On vaccine trials, Dr Asamoa-Baah said it was not dangerous, adding that it was good for Ghana to be involved in such efforts.
However, there is the need for many public consultations to curb the public anxiety on the vaccines.
“Ghana can involve in other trials because most vaccines have hundred percent protections,” he said.
Dr Anarfi said vaccine clinical trials go through various phases: phase one examines safety and immune response for ten to twenty individuals and phase two determines optimum vaccine composition with safety for few thousands of individuals.
The phase three examines vaccine’s ability to prevent disease for tens of thousands of individuals and phase four which is the post-licensed monitoring identifies less common longer term adverse events in target population.
Professor Ernest Aryeetey, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said in order to make impact in the development of vaccines, we must see our situation as an opportunity to try these vaccines out to solve a problem in the long term.
Mrs Stella Amoah of the Public Affairs Department of the University of Ghana, said the Alumni lectures were an important event in the University’s academic calendar and afforded a platform for intellectual discourse.
She said, the lectures allowed Alumni and friends to renew their contacts and review days at the University.