COVID-19: Nigeria orders for additional 10 million doses of vaccines

Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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The Nigerian Government is exploring all options to secure safe and effective vaccines to meet its target of covering at least 70% of its population within two years.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said this in Abuja, at the National Joint Media briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Nigeria.

According to him, the nation is negotiating with many parties and planning for flawless execution to achieve this.

“Apart from the 100,000 doses allocated as first wave to Nigeria by the COVAX facility, we also placed order for 10 million doses through the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) of the Africa Union Commission, which has secured 270 million doses, with the $2billion backing by Africa Exim Bank for a whole- of-Africa” approach of the Chairman of the African Union, President Ramaphosa of South Africa.”

The Minister announced that the vaccines were expected to be rolled out from March or April.

“The quantity we order from AVATT will depend on our capacity to dispense them to avoid wastage as we have seen in some countries where vaccine management became a problem.

The Federal Ministry of Health organized a National Covid-19 Vaccine Conference to prepare a roadmap for Nigeria’s access to Covid-19 vaccine and review our vaccination strategy.

Reports and updates were received from NPHCDA, the agency responsible for vaccine administration, NAFDAC responsible for medicine regulation and also from our research institutions.

Nigeria has an indigenous vaccine candidate, which will require considerable investment to get through trials. We shall seek sponsorship to take the initiative further,” Dr Ehanire explained

He added that the vaccine conference also reviewed the value chain from acquisition, logistics, storage, distribution and dispensation of the vaccines.

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