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.
Peter Obi urges FG to beg manufacturers, rich nations for COVID-19 vaccines
Obi urged the FG to consider appealing to rich nations, drug manufacturers for vaccines instead of spending billions of nairas to procure them.
Former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi has appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at their stipulated Covid-19 budget and rather, consider begging drug manufacturers and rich nations for the vaccines.
The former Vice Presidential candidate while speaking in an interview on Channels Television, lamented on what he felt was an over-the-top and ludicrous budget for the Covid-19 vaccines and advised that the FG should instead, appeal to manufacturers for the vaccine.
Obi, speaking on the FG Procurement Budget for the Covid-19 vaccine explained that it makes little sense for Nigeria to apportion 80% of its health budget for the procurement of Covid-19 only. He also stated that sufficient Covid-19 vaccine for the country can be purchased for a price way below the figure being put forward by the FG.
“They said they need N400bn. Our Budget for health this year is N547bn and you are saying that you need 80% of that for vaccine procurement. Assuming that’s what we are going to use the money for. I have checked the vaccine we need to have 70% which WHO has stipulated that if they receive it is okay. The quantity we need cannot cost us more than N150bn. It might be less because there are people who are willing to give vaccines for free,” Obi said.
Mr. Obi took it a step further by advising the FG on how to go about the quest to get Covid-19 vaccines at a much cheaper rate. He believes the country should own up to its poor status and demand for help unashamedly. This, he said, will reduce the amount the FG will pay for the Covid-19 vaccines.
“Why don’t we beg manufacturers to donate, saying to them that we don’t have anything. We can go kneel and beg them saying please give us the vaccines. We are from a poor country. Give us a discount. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are poor. It is not a crime. Because you are poor,” Obi added.
Since pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers began discovering and manufacturing vaccines against the novel Covid-19, there have been concerns that the poorer nations might be left far behind in the race to acquire the vaccines.
In case you missed it
- Nigeria received its first batch of Covid 19 vaccines from India today. The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.
- About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.
Covid-19 vaccines arrive Nigeria
Nigeria has received the first batch of the expected COVID-19 vaccine.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has announced that the expected COVAX Astrazeneca/Oxford vaccines have arrived in Nigeria.
The agency disclosed this in a social media statement on Tuesday after the first batch landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
— NPHCDA (@NphcdaNG) March 2, 2021
The Federal Government through different agencies had earlier hinted that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India were expected to arrive today, March 2, 2021.
Present at the airport to receive the vaccines are; the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, the DG of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and the DG of the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.
What you should know
- Nigeria has received nearly four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
- The National Primary Health Care Development Agency had earlier said it would commence the vaccination of Nigerians in priority groups, starting with frontline healthcare workers.
- The NPHCDA disclosed that it has built the capacity to train over 12,000 health workers to manage and administer the Covid-19 vaccines that will arrive in Nigeria soon.
- On Monday, the NPHCDA released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
- Ghana received its first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines from the Covax initiative on February 24, 2020.
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