Nigeria yet to decide on COVID-19 vaccine as case fatality rises to 1.49%
The country has yet to conclude on the brand of COVID-19 vaccines to procure for treatment of the pandemic.
This as COVID-19 case fatality in Nigeria is now 1.49 ℅ with 1,264 deaths recorded since the outbreak of the pandemic.
There are also 12,190 active cases in the country with 71,357 persons discharged.
Nigeria had recorded 84,811 confirmed cases out of 937,712 tests carried out.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) national briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora, said the country was still studying the situation to determine the vaccine that is most safe for the country.
He noted that countries were administering the vaccines under emergency situation without the vaccines passing through complete routine standard evaluation for safety on humans.
According to him, the particular vaccine to procure for administration in the country would depend on affordability, accessibility and acceptability after proper evaluation by relevant government agencies.
The minister said, “I’m saying that when these vaccines are available, they would still have to go through our own due process of regulation and that is by NAFDAC.
“In deciding which of this vaccine that would suite our purpose, we would consider cost, logistics of cold chain preservation since some of them will be stored at -17degrees.
“We would also be looking at when we have the vaccine, what segments of the population will be prioritised. We would look at availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability and administration.”
Mamora said all the testing and isolation centres had been directed to improve and scale up Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures in order to improve on treatment outcomes and enhance safety of the frontline health personnel.
He dispelled fears over the availability of ventilators at treatment centres.
“Our experience in Nigeria is that we hardly need ventilators but that is not to say we won’t use one when it is required.
“We will ensure our oxygen plants are functional where they do not exist, we will ensure they are available,” he said.
The minister cautioned COVID-19 patients to stop imposing a treatment regime on the health workers in isolation centres, saying the country has a treatment regime that has proved effective and efficient over time.
He emphasised the need for respect for non-pharmaceutical measures like proper wearing of face masks, maintaining physical distance, avoid large crowd and regular washing of hands with soap or sanitisers.
He also urged Nigerians against receiving visitors at the moment to contain the spread.
On procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for treatment of Nigerians, Mamora said efforts were in top gear to ensure delivery by the first quarter of 2021.
He said the federal government would constitute a technical working group that would work with the National Primary Health Development Agency,in preparing the logistics for the for the vaccine.
“The routine vaccine of preventable diseases and immunisations are being managed by the National Primary Health Development Agency (NPHDA) but a technical group will work with them as we prepare to get the vaccine.”