Ugandan Company to manufacture Polio vaccines

Uganda’s Vaccine Access Initiative, a subsidiary of Microhaem Scientific and Medical Supplies Company has finalised plans to manufacture polio vaccines at its Ntinda-based facility.

Dr Cedric Akwesigye, Microhaem’s Managing Director told URN in an interview on Wednesday that they have entered a technological transfer deal with Chinese Pharmaceutical Company Sinovac which will see them produce inactivated polio vaccines targeting markets both in Uganda and East African Community members.  

Akwesigye said they are now embarking on clearing approval requirements by both the National Drug Authority and the World Health Organisation, a process he predicts to have ended in the next six months.  

During a meeting attended by Prime Minister Robina Nabbanja, Akwesigye also asked the government to offer them purchase guarantees as a confirmation that they will buy from them.

Already, he says they are marketing to different countries to ensure that once the product is available, it’s quickly accessed by those that need it.  

But Dr Merdard Bitekyerezo, the Chairman of the National Drug Authority said he had not yet received any formal application from the company for either inspecting the plant site or the product itself. Once this comes through, he says, they will be the first applicants in the area of human vaccines as they have already reviewed one application by a manufacturer who wants to venture into chicken vaccines.

However, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, said many investors have expressed interest in manufacturing various vaccines in the country, especially that in the near future, they will be introducing new vaccines such as a birth dose for hepatitis and yellow fever which will increase demand.

Aceng said they are working closely with the Ministry for Science and Technology although they are not yet certain when exactly the said technology transfer happen.

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