The Private sector-led coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has set aside N23 billion to purchase food items and reach out to 10 million vulnerable Nigerians.
According to the group, the distribution of the food items will be done over the next few days to reach at least 1.67 million households in all 774 Local Government Areas in the country.
Femi Otedola, a member of the group, shared the news via his twitter handle on Tuesday afternoon.
The private sector-driven initiative, @cacovid devotes N23 billion to feed 10 million Nigerians. In the next few days, food items will reach 1.67 million households across the wards of the 774 local government areas to reduce the effects of the coronavirus pandemic .…F.Ote💲 pic.twitter.com/N20ixlMUxM
— Femi Ote$ (@realFemiOtedola) April 21, 2020
Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, stressed that every bit of the fund donated by generous individuals will be properly accounted for.
“These numbers will be audited. As we speak, I have told the CACOVID communications to put the names of the donors on our website, no matter how small the donation, so that everything will be properly documented.
“On the other side, whatever expenditure is incurred, even in buying needle or masks, it will be there on the website,” Emefiele stated.
He called for more donations from well-meaning individuals to the CACOVID relief fund, seeing as the purchase of food items alone has taken up N23 billion of the N25 billion donated thus far.
According to the group, all wards in each of the Local Government Areas will benefit from this outreach, and it will be done in conjunction with the state government.
Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote explained that the coalition was going to feed 5% of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million population, is 10 million people.
“We should start giving food out within the next 10 days,“ he said, explaining that a lot of logistics and planning had been taken into consideration in order to make the most of available funds.
The group is also constructing an isolation center on the grounds of the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, as part of its support to the Government’s efforts to contain the pandemic.
Lagos State already making contacts with vaccine manufacturers – Sanwo-Olu
Governor Sanwo-Olu has stated that the Lagos State Government has commenced talks with Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the state has started talks with vaccine manufactures, citing that the state will only work with frontline suppliers.
This was disclosed by the Governor during an interview on Channels TV on Sunday evening.
“We want the Federal government to take the lead and rightfully so, as a sovereign they have all of the protocol and contacts to make that happen.
“We are conversing, we have a meeting on Tuesday with PTF and NCDC under the Federal umbrella. We want the nation to take the lead (vaccine procurement) and as a state, we are giving them that space, because they are a sovereign they can have that conversation,” the Governor said.
The Governor stated that Lagos has started conversations with companies including AstraZeneca and Pfizer and will skip the operations of middlemen so as not to run foul of protocols.
“But other than that, as a sub-national, we are also taking our destiny to our hands, we have started conversations with some of the vaccine manufacturers,
“Pfizer, for example, we have made contact with them. The Oxford-AstraZeneca, I have made contacts with them, Johnson and Johnson are not out yet
“We are making our own sub-national contacts, parts of the things that will come out of it is that once we see what the nation is doing because this is something that we do not want to deal with middlemen or people that are not the frontline suppliers,
“We don’t want to run foul of the protocols, but we have started making contacts at board level with the manufacturers.
“How that will work out, we still have a week or 2, but we have started making contacts already,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos does not have to vaccinate the 20 million population, but “The plan is to ensure that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks about 50-60% of your population.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last week that the Governor warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos has seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-liter cylinders per day to 350 six-liter cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.
- The Governor added that Lagos is closely monitoring plans by the FG to acquire vaccines and said the State has also resumed discussion with potential manufacturers. He also said the State is building its own regulatory framework for vaccine distribution.
Covid-19: EU says it will force vaccine companies to respect supply contract
The EU has said that it will push pharmaceutical companies to fulfill commitments to the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
The European Union (EU) has said that it will make pharmaceutical companies respect contracts they have signed for the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
The statement by the EU follows a series of delays and slowdowns in the supply of the vaccines from some drugmakers.
According to a report from Reuters, this disclosure was made by the European Council President, Charles Michel, while speaking to Europe 1 radio on Sunday, January 24, 2021.
Michel in his statement said, “We plan to make the pharmaceutical companies respect the contracts they have signed … by using the legal means at our disposal.’’
While he made no mention of possible sanctions, Michel said that the EU would insist on transparency about the reasons for the delays.
He pointed out that after Pfizer’s first warnings about delays of several weeks, the EU had managed to reduce these delays by taking a tough stance.
Michel also said, “We banged our fist on the table and finally announced delays of several weeks turned into a slowdown of deliveries.’’
What you should know
- It can be recalled that Pfizer Inc last week announced that it was temporarily slowing supplies to Europe to make manufacturing changes that would boost output.
- On Friday, AstraZeneca also said that initial deliveries to the region will fall short because of a production glitch.
- Pfizer had been set to deliver about 80 million doses of the Covid-19 to the 27 countries by March.
Covid-19: FG to buy Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
The Federal Government has stated it will buy Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine.
The FG has stated that it will buy Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for Nigerians, given the availability of facilities needed for its storage.
This is according to the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, as reported by The Nation.
Speaking during a television interview, Dr Shuaib asserted: “The AstraZeneca type Oxford vaccines are the ones that we want to invest in because we already have the infrastructure across the country to be able to store the vaccines.”
He noted the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine can be stored in a facility with temperature +2 to +8 degree Celsius for a long period without it losing potency.
The decision may mean that Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine will not be considered since it appears the country lacks the capacity to keep the drug at the required temperature level for a long time.
The NPHCDA added that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would assess and certify the vaccine to ensure that it is safe.
Noting that: “For us, this is the paramount consideration and no vaccine will be administered to Nigerians until and unless NAFDAC goes through the process of making sure that all of the documentation is right and it is contextualised within the Nigerian environment.”
What they are saying
Dr Shuaib noted that:
“In Nigeria, as I speak, almost every single political ward has one freezer that can keep these vaccines at the right temperature.
“Only about 700 political wards do not have this type of equipment, and we are hopeful that if we keep installing them at the pace that we want to, hopefully by the end of this year, we will be able to finish installing, so that in every single political ward, we have the right equipment to be able to store our routine immunisation vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines at + 2 to +8 degree Celsius.
“At this point, we have information from the COVAX facility that Nigeria will be getting up to 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines in February. But ahead of those shipments, we have already made sure that the ultra-chain equipment that is required to keep these vaccines in temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius are available in-country.
“We are also working with the sub-national levels to make sure that when these vaccines are transported to the states and council areas, we will be able to make sure that the transportation takes place in a way that ensures that the vaccines remain and retain their potency.”
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported on 2oth January that the FG favours and will acquire vaccines that need less cooling. The report had it that the FG is in talks with Russia and India to procure vaccines that are less dependent on cooling facilities.
- Oxford’s AstraZeneca vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it cannot cause illness.
- When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection.
- Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine – which has to be kept at an extremely cold temperature (-70 degree Celsius), the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge – making it easier to distribute.
- The vaccine was approved for use by UK’s medicines regulator – the MHRA on December 30, last year. The MHRA approved the use of two full doses, which was found to be 62 per cent effective.
According to Nairametrics Covid-19 tracker, as of Saturday 24th January 2021
- The total number of cases stood at 121,566.
- The total number of death stood at 1,497.
- The total number of tests conducted stood at 1,258,534.