Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, announced on Wednesday that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the commercial production of vaccines to support the country’s routine immunization programs.

The FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, also discussed the partnership agreement signed with an Indian firm, Serum Institute of India.

In the new agreement, an indigenous public firm, Bio Vaccine Nigeria, will control 15% of the market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as an initial step over the next few years when the plant in Nigeria begins operations.

After the meeting, Ehanire provided additional information, saying, “Council considered a memorandum from the Ministry of Health today, which has to do with the first stage of indigenously producing vaccines in Nigeria. We are talking first of all about the routine vaccines, the one to call the standard program on immunization, not COVID-19 vaccine.

“As you are aware, the government has established a joint venture with a business called Bio Vaccine Nigeria Limited, which will begin manufacturing vaccines domestically.

They are currently looking for international partners who will collaborate with them and transfer the necessary technologies. After visiting several nations, including South Africa and Indonesia, they ultimately decided to work with the Serum Institute of India, who will now provide technical support as they establish the vaccine production facility in Nigeria.

Of course, the Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and also produces vaccines that have received WHO approval.

Therefore, Serum Institute of India is the supplier for all of our nations, including UNICEF, and as part of the partnership, Serum Institute of India demands that you have a specific order.

Because vaccines cannot be placed on shelves where customers can walk up and purchase them like Panadol, it will assist you in producing in Nigeria who will purchase. This is what we mean by market access.

The government has purchased them, and the Primary Health Care Development Agency is supposed to be in charge of administering them.

As a result, the Federal Executive Council has now approved the agreement for Bio Vaccine Nigeria to have a 15% market share, which will be used for contract manufacturing of those vaccines as a first step over the following few years once the plant in Nigeria starts to operate. The council’s approval was thus given today.