Uncertainty over vaccine supply threatens Nigeria’s vaccination goal
...PTF directs states to use half of doses allocated
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has expressed concerns over the uncertainty around the arrival of more batches of vaccines to enable Nigeria continue its vaccination programme seamlessly.
Nigeria has received 3.92 million doses of the 16 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the COVAX facility and is expecting more vaccines from the African Union’s Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).
Boss Mustapha, PTF chairman, at a briefing on Tuesday said there is a lack of assurance of subsequent supply of these vaccines due to global and domestic bottlenecks which could impact on the country’s goal to vaccinate 70 percent of the population and achieve herd immunity.
“There are challenges with supply. I expect that countries will fight for these vaccines,” he said.
The challenges, according to him, include global vaccine nationalism; demand far exceeding production capacity of manufacturers which is threatening delivery and access schedules; domestic vaccine hesitancy and elite resistance; and diminished level of trust between citizens and government.
He, however, assured that the government is working to ensure steady supply through bilateral engagements. He said Nigerians in the global community are being urged to push for the country.
Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, informed that states have been directed to use half of the doses allocated to them.
“In a situation where we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive, wisdom only dictates that it’s better for us to vaccinate those who have received the first jabs fully since the vaccination comes in two doses,” he said.