The Federal Government on Tuesday disclosed that Nigerians will be part of the early beneficiaries of COVID-19 vaccine when developed in commercial quantity.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who made the disclosure in Abuja during a two-day multo-sectoral conference on the COVID-19, maintained that anytime a potent vaccine is found or developed as a solution to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians will not be left out, even as he hinted that there are arrangements by the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that Nigerians get the vaccine immediately it comes out.
The Minister was represented at the event by the Minister of State, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who stated that: “I must say on the issue of vaccine that Africa will be considered. The Federal Ministry of Health, just last week; we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that when the vaccines, wherever they come from, that have been established to be effective for COVID-19, we will not be left behind.”
”We need to prioritise health if any gains are to be made in the sector. And if we appreciate that, the allocation in terms of budget for health will be much more than what it is at the moment. Primary health care is also of great importance.
“The figures that we have in infant mortality, in maternal mortality, a lot of the issues related can be handled at the primary care level if we have functional primary health centres, where all the basic services can be rendered and where all basic services in terms of infrastructure are available – water, electricity supply.
“That is why the ministry has designed a prototype structure of primary health centre. We are working towards having functional primary health centres that all the basic services will be available, from immunization to anti-natal care, to WASH program, health education.”
Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday that the vaccine which was jointly developed by the two companies was 90 per cent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in ongoing Phase 3 trials.