The Federal Government says the sum of N10billion to support domestic vaccine production.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this while speaking at the briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF). He said the Federal Government is working to develop the country’s own vaccines.
”The Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production in collaboration with recognized institutions, we are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in country and have had discussions with a producer.” he said.
Ehanire also asked Nigerians to disregard reports of the sale of COVID19 vaccines in Nigeria.
”There are reports of claims by some persons in Nigeria, to have COVID-19 vaccines for sale in the country. I advise all citizens to disregard these claims as they are criminal. There are procedures for vaccine acquisition and use which include appropriate regulation and certification by NAFDAC. I advise against risk of fake vaccines, as there is no vaccine yet approved for use and NPHCDA is the only authorized vaccine administrator in Nigeria.” he said.
The Minister also announced that the first consignment of COVID19 vaccines would arrive the country in a few weeks.
”On vaccines, we are exploring all options available for the acquisition of approved vaccines for Nigerians. We are hopeful that the first consignment will arrive the country in some weeks.
Apart from the COVAX facility, which is billed to cover vaccination of just 20% of our population, we plan to increase our chances of getting enough vaccines to meet the country’s need to cover an additional 50% of the population.
Nigeria is participating in the African Union initiative called “African Vaccine Availability Task Team”, which reports directly to the African Union Chairman, President Ramaphosa of South Africa, and has secured options for 270 million doses of various types of vaccines.
Bearing in mind options suitable for our environment and our available infrastructure, as well as Investment in delivery, Nigeria has written to express interest in 10 million doses of the viral vector vaccine, which could be supplied as from March 2021. This vaccine does nor require deep freezers.” he said.