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Nigeria needs over N2.44tn to vaccinate 165 million Nigerians

By Onoja Johnson

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Report from the Punch Newspaper has it that the Federal Government of Nigeria will need about N2.44tn for the vaccination of its 164.8 million citizenry, who may not have access to free vaccines the country is expecting from the international community.

As made known by the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, at a press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Tuesday, 100,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be received by the country at the end of this month.

It was reported that the directors also said Nigeria would secure free delivery of 42 million doses of vaccines, which would be a combination of all the available and approved vaccines currently in the market.

He said the 42 million doses of the vaccines will only cover 20 per cent of the country’s population, which the National Population Commission, recently put at 206 million.

Shuaib added that the NPHCDA, the PTF and the Federal Ministry of Health were working on financial requirements for procuring more vaccines.

He, however, said the country needed to cover only 70 per cent of its population with vaccination to battle the virus.

Punch speculated that the cost of securing the vaccine will be huge on the country.

Its report states, “based on his statement that the 42 million doses of vaccines, which Nigeria would get free of charge, would cover 20 per cent of Nigeria’s population, it means 41.2 million Nigerians would be vaccinated against COVID-19, leaving 164.8 million others unprotected.

“Although there are various vaccines, states that Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine costs $19.5 per dose ($39 per two doses).

“The United States’ Food and Drug Administration Agency had last month said Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered as a two-dose series, three weeks apart.

“Based on the two-dose requirement for each of the 164.8 million Nigerians, it means the country will need $6.43bn or N2.44tn (using CBN official exchange rate of N379/$1) to procure the vaccine for them.

“The N2.44tn does not include the cost of transportation and other logistics.

“A professor of virologist, Oyewale Tomori, in an interview with The PUNCH on Wednesday, gave the costs of other vaccines.

“According to him, Moderna vaccine is between $10 and $50, Johnson & Johnson, $10 and Oxford, $3 to $4 per dose.

“He, however, advised the Federal Government not to procure vaccines that the country lacked the facility to store.

“Tomori said procuring a vaccine that would be difficult to store in Nigeria would be like adding to the problem of the pandemic in the country.

“He said, “There are three or four different types of vaccines at the moment; there is the one from Pfizer that must be stored at -70°C; Moderna vaccine must be stored at -20°C and there are others that can be stored at fridge temperature.”

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