As the world scrambles for Covid-19 vaccines, Nigeria’s citizens have been assured of vaccines that will cover 20% of the country’s 200 million population, Director-general of the Nigeria Centre of Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu has said.
There have been recent announcements by multinational US pharmaceuticals Pfizer and Moderna that produced vaccines have over 90% effectiveness in treating coronavirus.
Russia’s RDIF/Gamaleya Institute also announced a Vaccine known as Sputnik V that provides a 92% achievement record.
“In terms of access to the vaccines, our primary accessibility pathway is through a coalition brought together by the World Health Organisation (WHO) called COVAX, through which we have been assured of vaccines to cover 20% of the population,” Ihekweazu said when he appeared on ARISE News.
COVAX is a coalition, which Nigeria is also a part of, that is working for global equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and given the desire to get life back to normal, these doses will be in incredibly high demand.
But asides making intentions known, Nigeria is yet to make any advanced purchase agreement for the Covid-19 vaccines that will ensure vulnerable members of the society and the general population have access to it when it is eventually available.
“We are working very hard with a lot of partners in that regard to plan the logistics, the enlightenment, it’s not the vaccine that will save any life, it’s when that vaccine gets into a human being and so many processes still have to happen for us to get the vaccination to happen versus the vaccine,” Ihekweazu said.
He added, “We are working very hard collectively across government to make sure we are prepared to distribute these vaccines efficiently across Nigeria and make sure Nigerians really understand the value of vaccines and the potential it brings to our returning to a way of life we are more used to.”
By Abel Ejikeme