Cantacuzino Institute has begun the training of the staff to kick off the anti-flu vaccine production, the Defence Ministry (MoD) has announced on Wednesday.
The Cantacuzino Institute was transferred from the Ministry of Health to the MoD in September 2017, after having been transferred before from the Ministry of Education. The Institute produced the last vaccine in 2013.
“A team consisting in recently hired operators at Cantacuzino Institute are conducting the first biological tests to make the non-commercial experimental flu vaccine lots. The training process will continue until the staff reaches the needed performance level and will be coordinated by the institute’s specialists,” reads a MoD press release.
“We must take the responsibility for this irreversible process and to render the Cantacuzino Institute the status of national flu vaccine producer. Our goal is to do everything is possible to ensure the country’s independence in the vaccine sector and, therefore, to be better prepared to face potential outbreak risks. That’s why, resuming the vaccine production at the Cantacuzino Institute as soon as possible is a duty for Romanians, first of all”, said secretary of state Mihai Dan Chirică.
100 positions of researcher, doctor, biologist, biochemist, pharmacist, engineer and administrative staff have been available at the Cantacuzino Institute since the beginning of 2019.
Defence Ministry has allotted over RON 40 million to rehabilitate the production areas of the institute, to buy new cutting-edge equipment and to also revamp and consolidate the existing infrastructure.
Cantacuzino Institute, the Romanian longtime vaccine producer, was in the middle of a scandal four years ago, after its employees had repeatedly protested against the situation and the dissolution of the institution.
Cantacuzino National Institute of Research-Development for Microbiology and Immunology (CNIR) is a national institute in Romania, which does scientific research in the fields of microbiology, immunology, molecular biology and genetics, and education of microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, training of scientific and technical. Despite ranking among the most appreciated immunological producers in the world, the institute has started to face decline since February 2010, after the National Agency of Medicines withdrew its authorization to sell products for injection, including vaccines, as the fabrication standard had expired. Under these conditions, some immunization national programs have been blocked for several months, while the authorities being compelled to import other vaccines.
Media and civil society have long blamed the state authorities of closing their eyes or even of being hand in hand with the foreign drug companies that would want their medicine and vaccines prevail on the Romanian market.