FG Releases N10b for Domestic Production of COVID-19 Vaccine

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The Federal Government through the Presidential Taskforce had announced the release of N10b for domestic production of COVID-19 during a briefing in Abuja on Monday. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire disclosed the N10b was released to the ministry of finance and would be used to explore options for licensed production of COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with a recognized institution.

The minister of health further explained that the FG had requested 10 million doses of imported COVID-19 vaccine injection which will arrive soon and Nigerians to be vaccinated from March 2021. Dr. Osagie Ehanire noted that considerations for the distribution in March include criteria for prioritization, development of robust vaccine distribution strategy, identification of vaccine administration sites and teams, development of procurement, supply chain and distribution plans for commodities and devices, and the sustainability of the plans.

While Nigerians await the arrival of the vaccine, the ministry of health ministry will hold a national vaccine conference, as part of the preparations, to mobilize experts, role players, development partners, and stakeholders to create a unified and strategic front for the provision and vaccination of Nigerians against COVID 19. The conference will also provide a platform for deliberation on the COVID-19 response strategy, especially at this time of spike in cases.

The PTF advised the state to ensure strict adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions to avoid the escalation of cases now that schools were allowed to reopen without approval from the FG. The Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, said that schools that had resumed did so in defiance of the fact that the task force announced that the resumption of schools nationwide would be reviewed due to rising daily numbers of infections and the challenges of case management.

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