ABUJA, NIGERIA – Nigerian officers say the nation is able to obtain its first COVID-19 vaccine doses by the top of January. The federal government needs to vaccinate 40% of the nation’s inhabitants by the top of this yr. However specialists say the associated fee and storage of the vaccine poses a problem.
Officers stated President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo can be the primary recipients of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, the primary 100,000 doses of that are anticipated to be accessible this month.
They stated the vaccine then can be distributed to key political leaders and well being staff with a view to increase consciousness earlier than it will get to the residents.
Faisal Shuaib, government director of the Nationwide Main Well being Care Growth Company, stated,
“We now have really developed a complete deployment plan on how we’re going to deploy these vaccines in phases. We’re aiming to cowl as much as 70% of the inhabitants simply to make sure that we’re in a position to cease transmission.”
Shuaib stated 40% of the inhabitants was anticipated to get pictures this yr and the remaining 30% by the top of subsequent yr.
However specialists stated Nigeria doesn’t have enough storage amenities to carry vaccines on the required temperature of minus 70 levels Celsius.
Additionally, the demand and value for vaccines are very excessive, making it almost inconceivable to accommodate that many doses anytime quickly in Nigeria, based on pharmaceutical analysis knowledgeable Olobayo Kunle.
“A lot of our colleagues, scientists on this nation have labored onerous, however one factor is for positive: The vaccines which are in use, we weren’t straight concerned within the growth,” Kunle stated. “So, sitting right here and creating timelines is a bit troublesome.”
Many African international locations are dealing with the problem of securing enough provides of the coronavirus vaccine due to the excessive value. However the World Well being Group-backed COVAX program is ensuring international locations like Nigeria should not left behind, Shuaib stated.
“There’s been a preponderance of vaccines going to the richer international locations,” Shuaib stated, “so what the COVAX facility is attempting to do is to be sure that vaccines can be found to low- and medium-income international locations no matter their talents to pay. For instance, they will be offering as much as 20% of Nigeria’s inhabitants by way of wants for vaccine freed from cost.”
Nigerian authorities are additionally bargaining with vaccine producers in Britain, Russia and China and say they would favor vaccines which are simple to retailer and ship.