The Federal Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support local COVID19 vaccine production in Nigeria.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) COVID-19 media briefing.
Ehanire said: “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 recognised institutions.
We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.”
Ehanire urged Nigerians to ignore claims by some people that they had 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 regulations and certification by the National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Ehanire also explained that the first consignment of vaccine doses will arrive within weeks, and will cover 20 per cent of the population, but added that there are plans to increase the figure to cover 50 per cent.
On vaccines, he said “we are exploring all options available for the acquisition of approved vaccines for Nigerians. We are hopeful that the first consignment will arrive in the country in some weeks.
He reiterated that reducing infection rate for COVID-19 remained the easiest and cheapest objective of the government.
According to him, government’s main effort is to ensure social mobilisation for testing, strengthening surveillance activities for early detection, active contact tracing, isolation and treatment.
He, however, added that the implementation of critical non-pharmaceutical measures required the cooperation of the public.
“This includes much more adherence to wearing masks, social distancing, use of sanitiser, etc. than we are seeing today. Of special concern are the so-called “super spreader activities” that involve congregational settings, which must be reduced, restricted or prohibited in the interest of the common good.