• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Covid-19: Nigeria to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine before end of January

Covid-19: Nigeria to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine before end of January

Nigeria is expecting to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine to combat the Covid-19 pandemic by the end of January through the COVAX facility in the first phase.

The country is also expecting to take free delivery of 42 million doses of vaccine which will be a combination of all the available and approved vaccines currently in the market which would cover about 20% of the population in the second phase.

Executive Secretary, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib announced this at the briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 in Abuja on Tuesday.

Shuaib who stated that a letter announcing this allocation is being expected from the COVAX facility this week, said to achieve eradication of Covid-19 in Nigeria, there is need to cover 70% of the total population with Covid-19 vaccines, adding that 40% will be vaccinated in 2021 while 30% will be covered next year.

He said priority will be given to frontline health workers, first responders, strategic country leadership and those that are elderly and with co- mobilities or other diseases apart from Covid-19.

Read also: FG Says 20, 000 passengers violated COVID -19 travel protocols

According to Shuaib, the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 is finalizing the cumulative financial requirement for deploying vaccines in the next couple of days and the figures will be made public.

“At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, global partners came together to establish the platform that would ensure and accelerate fair and equitable access to diagnosis, treatment and prevention tools against Covid-19. This platform is known as the ACT accelerator.

“The vaccine pillar of this platform is known as the COVAX facility. This pillar is driven by the World Health Organization, UNICEF. The COVAX facility has 192 participating countries including Nigeria. This platform is currently the mainstay of our expected access to safe and effective vaccines.

“The African Union has set up an African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVAT) to provide an all of Africa approach to negotiation for more vaccines from developing countries and pharmaceutical companies. Apart from COVAX facility and the AVAT, Nigeria is also involved in multiple conversations with governments of Russia, United Arab Emirates and India to access vaccines”, he said.

Also speaking, Olorunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, said the Federal Government is currently assessing the infrastructural gaps, which has been a major impediment, in terms of logistics for cold chain maintenance, storage, supply and distribution.

The Minister disclosed that the Ministry of Health is working with Aviation authorities to ensure screening is tightened for international passengers especially from UK and South Africa due to the high transmissibility of the new strain of the virus already confirmed in many countries.

Mamora further noted that a major factor contributing to the mortality of cases is the late presentation at the approved treatment centres, he therefore appealed to caregivers not to hold on to suspected cases who fit the case identification protocol for longer than necessary and refer promptly in order to drive case fatality rate further down.

The Minister further reiterated the need for Nigerians to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical interventions of wearing face mask, physical and social distancing; hand washing with soap and water and use of hand sanitizers where necessary, in the face of a second wave and appealed to states to increase testing to determine the status of the disease.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC, on his part applauded health workers and religious leaders for the sacrifices and decisions they have taken to mitigate the spread of the virus in the country.