As part of the urgent need to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the country, the Federal government of Nigeria says it has released N10 billion support fund to boost domestic vaccine production.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, made the disclosure at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja
Dr. Ehanire who revealed that the Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production in the country said that: “While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognized institutions.
The Health Minister also said the federal ministry of health has outlined three approaches to confront the pandemic which include: infection mitigation, therapeutics, and vaccines.
He however noted 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 sanitizer, 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. Minister said.
Dr. Ehanire further called on Nigerians to ignore claims by some people that they had COVID-19 vaccines for sale in the country.
According to him: “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 National Agency for Food and Drug and Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“I advise against fake vaccines, as there is no one approved for use in the country. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is the only authorized vaccine administrator in Nigeria,” he said.
Nigeria has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks and increased mortality, a situation mostly blamed on non-compliance with safety protocols to curtail the spread of the virus.
According to the latest statistics from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the country has so far recorded over 100,000 confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths since it first announced its first case in February 2020.