The Federal Government has announced that the country expects to take delivery of its first set of Covid-19 vaccine doses in February, with health workers, vulnerable people and top government officials to be given priority.
These vaccines are expected to be procured through the Covax initiative which is backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation.
According to a report from Bloomberg, this disclosure was made in an interview by the Executive Director/Chief Executive of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, who said that as many as 100,000 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, would be purchased.
What the Head of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency is saying
Shuaib said that the first batch of the vaccines, which is enough for a maximum of 50,000 people, equivalent to about 0.00025% of Nigeria’s population, would be allocated to health-care professionals working in Covid-19 isolation centres and those supporting them, as well as the country’s senior political leaders.
He said, “We are waiting for final confirmation from Covax on when the first doses will arrive. A most recent indication is they’re expected in February.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government, had initially announced that it was expecting the first set of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines to be available at the end of January through the Covax initiative.
- The Minister of State for Health, Olurunnimbe Mamora, had also said that the country was yet to purchase any Covid-19 vaccine as the country was still assessing the prices of different shots, their availability and the logistics required for a nationwide roll-out.
- Shuaib revealed that the Federal Government had acquired 3 ultra-cold freezers to keep the Pfizer vaccines at the required temperature. He said that in the longer term, the government planned to invest in vaccines that were easier to store, such as those created by AstraZeneca Plc, and the University of Oxford.
- Nigeria, with a population of more than 200 million people, plans to vaccinate about 70% of its population in the long run and is working on other options, besides Covax, for supplies.