ADB approves grant for Vaccine Self-Reliance Project

The Asia Development Bank (ADB), through the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) Center, approved the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine Biologicals Manufacturing Division’s (RITM-BMD) proposal for a pre-feasibility study of the Vaccine Self-Reliance Project I (VSRP I).

In 2018, under the new administration’s Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda Strategies, the Public-Private Partnership for Health Program Management Unit (PPPH-PMU) of the Health Facility Development Bureau (HFDB) of the Department of Health (DOH), started an initiative to revive the Vaccine Self-Sufficiency Projects (VSSP) I and II. As a priority project of the DOH, VSSP aims to attain vaccine self-sufficiency through local production and capacity building.

Under VSRP I, a 19-hectare vaccine manufacturing and animal breeding complex is expected to supply for the demand of the National Immunization Program (NIP) of the DOH for vaccines and biologicals in the country such as the Purified Cobra Antivenom (PCAV), diagnostic antisera, Equine Rabies Immunoglubulin (ERIG), Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), rabies vaccine, and filling of Pentavalent/hexavalent vaccine. The construction of the facility also hopes to alleviate the costs of importation of NIP vaccines in the country.

The VSRP I project is aligned with the “Health Service Delivery and Health Regulation” of the FOURmula One Plus flagship of the DOH and the Universal Health Care Act. It is expected to contribute in the reduction of public health threats through elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Since 2010, ADB has been extending its support to the Philippines through the PPP program and the PPP Center through technical assistance and policy-based loans. The center is expected to provide expertise and capacity building to the project as well as to promote system enhancement in vaccine manufacturing in the country. It is also set to eliminate multiple procurement activities and contract management with only one contractor for the project.

A series of meetings and discussions between RITM-BMD and the PPP Center is set to commence in the following weeks to discuss the timeline of activities with the conduct of the project’s pre-feasibility study.

By Ma. Patricia Lansang, Communication and Engagement Office