Usman Yusuf, a former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has said Nigeria state governors who have said they intend purchasing the Covid-19 vaccines don’t know what they are talking about.
Yusuf, a professor of haematology-oncology and bone marrow transplantation was a guest on ARISE News and was reacting to claims by some state governments that they were not involved in deciding the sharing formula for the 100,000 Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine doses.
While Ogun, Oyo, and Cross River states faulted the number of COVID-19 doses allocated to them by the Federal Government, Lagos, as well as Oyo states, stated that they planned to buy Covid-19 vaccines.
“Where is Oyo state government going to get these vaccines?” Professor Yusuf queried. “It’s in limited supply all over the world.
“If anybody tells you he will go into the open market and get vaccines, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. So Covax, the federal government of Nigeria and many middle and low-income countries are hoping and aiming to have access to vaccines through the World Health Organisation programme called Covax.
“This programme intends to distribute about a billion vaccines to 92 countries that are low and middle income in 2021. So the issue of vaccines, the limiting steps are affordability, accessibility, acceptance of the people and of course the logistics.
“So for a state to say I am going to buy vaccines from somewhere, they don’t know what they are talking about. You don’t just go to the shelf and buy vaccines, these are in limited supply.
“These are in limited supply, countries that are very rich are overstocking. It’s the WHO, the United Nations and other bodies that are making a case for middle and low-income countries saying we should not forget them because one case of Covid in the world makes the whole world unsafe.
“So it’s in the interest of all countries rich and poor to have this virus out of our way. So no state can go to the market and buy vaccines, I don’t know what they are talking about.”