BREAKING NEWS

Nigerians will not pay for COVID-19 vaccine -FG



  The federal government said yesterday that the COVID-19 vaccine will be administered on Nigerians free of charge when vaccination begins.


National coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this on Channels TV's breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, monitored in Abuja yesterday, said through the GAVI arrangement, there was the assurance that over 40 million Nigerians will be vaccinated.


VAM News reports that GAVI is a vaccine alliance involved in a bid to find solution to the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through vaccines birthed COVAX.


COVAX is one of the three pillars of Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator. It was launched in April by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the European Commission and France, bringing together governments, manufacturers, scientists, the private sector, philanthropists and the civil society organisations in response to the pandemic and ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccine and treatments when available.


Aliyu said, "Yesterday, the president gave the PTF the mandate to proceed with preparations with regard to the vaccine. "The president has also given us a marching order that the COVID-19 vaccine be available in Nigeria.


"Making use of the GAVI arrangement, we already have assurance that 20 per cent of our population will be accommodated by GAVI in the vaccine. "We don't need to pay for that and this will cover 40 million Nigerians or so. But we have to pay for the operations and the logistics associated with it". He also said that there were plans to buy additional vaccines aside the GAVI arrangement.


He continued: "We are also planning to pay for an additional 20 to 40 per cent. In general, over the next two years, at least 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated before we can have enough herd immunity.


"The Pfizer vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines at the moment". When asked if the vaccine would be administered free, Aliyu answered in the affirmative: "Of course, of course." The PTF national coordinator advised Nigerians not to discard safety measures already in place just because of the vaccine. "Just to make it clear to the general public, even if we have the vaccine available tomorrow in Nigeria, the epidemic will not change.


"We still need to apply the protective measures we have been advising right from beginning. Vaccines alone will not change it. If you look at the time it takes the vaccine to take effect, the first dose will take about 12 days to have an anti-body response.


The second dose takes a week. In all, it takes a month for one to have adequate immunity," Aliyu explained.

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