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COVID-19: FG to secure 2bn vaccine doses for Nigerians – Minister

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that Federal Government is interested in the COVAX facility, a GAVI supported global initiative to procure and assure equitable access to vaccines, especially for Lower and lower middle Income Countries (LMIC), which will prioritize Nigeria for allocation of 2 billion vaccines doses to be secured for COVID-19.

The Minister disclosed this at the Press Conference on COVID-19 in Abuja, on Thursday, also he said Nigeria is working with World Health Organization (WHO) to finalize enrollment with ACT Accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring research Organizations working on covid19 vaccine development.

According to him, “As of 19th August, 2020, Nigeria has crossed the 50,000 landmark and recorded 50,488 COVID-19 cases. This is out of 366,244 samples tested so far, of which 37,304 persons were successfully treated and discharged. We have sadly had 985 fatalities, which is also a reminder to us all, that COVID-19 has not abated.

“Male preponderance remaines high, with more infections in the age group below 50 years, but more fatalities in the higher age brackets and among the vulnerable with comorbidities. “I am reminding us all to take responsibility together, not only for today, but also for the days ahead, when the imperative to open our economy will demand great sacrifice and discipline from us all”, he said.

He added that changing dynamics of the virus and the disease make it necessary for the government to continue to review response strategies, ensure to train and update health workers on the latest and most effective approach to treatment of the disease and tailor procurement in the light of knowledge gained

“The Department of Hospital Services of the Federal Ministry of Health leads this effort to increase the pool of experts and focal persons in various specialties, to train trainers in Infection Prevention and Control at all service and Health facilities. One such training was recently concluded in Gombe State”, he said.

The Information session on COVID-19, conducted weekly by the WHO was held on 20th August, 2020, as the Minister had the opportunity of sharing experience of Nigeria, as one of two countries invited to make presentations on government response strategies.

“A clear message from this briefing is that covid19 is a threat to mankind and there is need for all countries to work together for solutions that will allow equitable access to Information sharing on therapeutics and vaccines. In the words of the Director General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, “By working together, we are protecting each other. In a global pandemic, none of us is safe until all of us are safe”, he said.


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