FG to Receive 20 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines

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FG To Receive 20 Million Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines
Chinedu Ibeakanma
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The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that it is making plans to purchase at least 20 million vaccines to commence the process of protecting the populace from the deadly covid-19 disease.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, made this known during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on covid-19 in Abuja.

He said, “When considering the cost of vaccines, you don’t only look at the cost of buying or getting it here, but the cost of keeping it. Finally, you consider the operational cost – that is, the cost of actually going to give people vaccines. You need syringes, trained health workers and must all be paid. The cost implications go along those lines, and a few other costs we have not mentioned.

“We are a population of 200 million. There is hope of vaccinating as many people as possible, but we want to start with at least 20 million doses which we are expecting from the COVAX facility, beginning with those who are working in the health sector – who are exposed to risks and are highly exposed, and then to vulnerable people who are more at risk. That whole strategy is still being developed.

“Regarding the budget, what we discussed is that it is good to speak with the National Assembly to set aside a certain amount – not that we know exactly what it is going to cost, but we have something to start with when the need comes. We do not have a real budget as yet because nobody can really measure the volume or extent of expenditure. It is just to have something you can put your hand into, even if it is for a down payment.”

The Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, in his remarks added: “WHO will only validate a vaccine that is truly efficacious and safe. We are aware that some national regulatory agencies have approved emergency use of some vaccines in the UK and also in the US, and others may follow. I want to emphasise that for WHO to validate a vaccine for emergency use, there is a process and a strategic advisory group of experts on vaccine immunisation which advises the Director-General on the validation process.

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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