Coronavirus: Govt to spend $576m on vaccines

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DIRECTOR of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib  has said that Nigeria might spend around $576 million to procure COVID-19 vaccine.

  The government also plans to immunise 70 per cent of Nigerians who are at risk of the virus, he said.

  According to him, free vaccine to immunise 20 per cent of those to be vaccinated, will be made available to the country and 91 other countries by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI).

  The first batch of 100,000 Pfizer vaccine doses from the COVAX facility will arrive in the country at the end of this month or early next month. It will be used in two jabs each on 50,000 Nigerians.

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  To meet up with vaccination of 50 per cent of Nigerians, the government will need to pay $8 for two doses each.

  According to the United Nations data and the data made available by the National Population Commission (NPC), Nigeria’s population is 206 million.

  Nigeria’s target is to vaccinate 70 per cent (144.2 million) of its 206 million people.

  At the rate of $8 for two doses per person, it will spend at least $576million to vaccinate 50 per cent (72.1million) of the 144.2million people.

  Should the country choose to vaccinate half of its total population, which is about 103,000,000, it will spend about $824milion.

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Dr. Shuaib said: “The country is expecting only one vaccine (i.e. Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine) in the first batch coming in by end of January/early February.

  “The country is not buying any COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer or China. The country plans to get COVID-19 vaccines from two (2) sources: the GAVI and direct purchase from alternative sources (other manufacturers).

“From the COVAX Facility source, GAVI will be supporting 92 eligible countries with vaccines to immunise about 20 per cent of their population free in 2021.

  “The government of the participating countries will pay for additional doses above the 20 per cent to be supplied by GAVI. Pfizer is one of the companies that GAVI will get limited quantity of the COVID-19 vaccines from to give to the 92 eligible countries (including Nigeria).

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  The NPHCDA boss said COVID-19 vaccination will not be compulsory, but will be made available to all those targeted.

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