Nigeria to produce vaccines locally with Serum Institute of India

Nigeria's Minister of State for Health Osagie Ehanire attends an emergency National Council on Health meeting on the control of Lassa Fever in Abuja, Nigeria January 19, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

LAGOS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Nigeria will partner with Serum Institute of India to start local manufacturing of vaccines used in the country's immunisation programmes, health minister Osagie Ehanire said on Wednesday.

Africa's most populous country imports all of its vaccines, including those used to prevent polio, measles and tuberculosis, but has been seeking foreign partners to produce them at home.

"We hope to start manufacturing some of the vaccines (that) Serum Institute India manufactures and transfer the technology and skills to our people," Ehanire said after Nigeria's cabinet approved the deal with Serum Institute, the world's largest producer of vaccines.

"We are talking first of all the routine vaccines, the ones (for) the standard programme on immunisation, not COVID-19 vaccine."

Ehanire said the venture between Bio Vaccine Nigeria and Serum Institute would start by producing 15% of vaccines used in local immunisation. The government owns a 49% stake in Bio Vaccine and private investors control the rest.

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Reporting by Felix Onuah, Editing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Bill Berkrot

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