Health Politics

Covid-19: Nigerian Governors Suggest Local Vaccine To Aid Availability

The Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and the Federal Government has made it known that the Covid-19 vaccine would arrive in Nigeria at the end of January. However, The Nigeria Governors Forum NGF has made it known that they are not comfortable with the lack of clarity on when the vaccines will arrive in Nigeria.

Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Ekiti State and the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, after a meeting he held with President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Fayemi: “For us as governors, the number one priority in vaccine management relates to public health and risk communication. I commended the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 for at least, wanting to use Mr. President and the Vice President as their publicity vehicles for reassuring those who may have their doubts about vaccines use, that this is no threat to them”.

He added that “You know there are cultural and religious concerns in various parts and at the state level, we are reviewing that with all of our colleagues. But the good thing is Mr. President has agreed with me that he would convey to the PTF the necessity of using other influencers, maybe the chief Imams, the Bishops, top musicians, our sports personalities”.

In addition, he said that “The more of such people are seen taking the vaccines, the more the likelihood of resistance will break down in our various localities. So, we discussed that. Of course, procurement of vaccines was also discussed. Our view is that ultimately, we really need to ramp up manufacturing of vaccines locally. It is okay that COVAX, which Nigeria is part of, is going to be delivering some vaccines to us. As we understand, the first 100,000 and then 43 million and ultimately 165 million doses”.

He further stressed that “ there is nothing as good as having the ability to manufacture our own vaccines locally. We understand that there is a partnership with May & Baker, which is important for the federal government to really accelerate the process so that we can produce the vaccines here in Nigeria and not be dependent on what is coming from other parts.”

The Governor added that “Those of us at the receiving end in the states know that this is an issue we also need to ramp up our own preparedness, in terms of getting our states ready for vaccines storage particularly, the freezers and cold chains that will be required for that process. We need to get ourselves ready at the state level. The federal government can procure but we will receive and administer in our various states and there is a lot of work to be done in that respect,” the governor said.

At the end, he said all State Governors would receive the Covid-19 vaccine on live TV.

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Esther Ifeoluwa

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