20% of Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccines to be donated – Akabueze

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DIRECTOR-General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze says Nigeria is expected to receive donations of COVID-19 vaccine that will cover 20 percent of its population.

  According to Akabueze, Nigeria will then procure an additional 50 percent of its vaccine requirement to achieve herd immunity.

  The Budget office boss, made the announcement during a virtual conference of the 2021 budget presentation on Tuesday.

  Akabueze said the donation will include all types of vaccines. At least four vaccines have been approved by different countries across the world. Drugmakers such as Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna have rolled out their vaccines in different countries.

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  The federal government has said the country would get about 100,000 doses of vaccines between the end of January and the first week of February.

  Once the vaccines arrive, the commencement of vaccination will be done for the first set of 50,000 frontline health workers after pre-qualification by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and safety revalidation by the National Agency for Food and Drug

  Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

  Also, there are plans to make President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and other top government officials to take the jab on live television.

  Many Nigerian governors may also join the president to take the jab on live television to encourage Nigerians to accept the vaccine, chairman of the governor’s forum, Kayode Fayemi said.

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  “Absolutely,” Fayemi answered when asked if governors will also take the vaccines on live television. “We too will like to demonstrate to our citizens that we believe that vaccines would work.”

  “Don’t forget, we have a lot of experience on this. Governors Forum managed the polio vaccines administration in the country and we have garnered a lot of experience.”

  The Nigerian government said it plans to vaccinate 40 percent of Nigerians (80 million) by the end of this year and another 30 percent (60 million) next year, bringing the number to 70 percent (that is 140 million) of the country’s estimated population by December 2022.

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  The figure, however, is a far cry for a population of over 200 million compared to South Africa, which has taken delivery of 1.5 million doses for 750,000 of its citizens, since two doses are needed for the vaccine to offer the needed benefits.

  Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases are currently 102,601 with 81,574 patients treated and discharged. The country has recorded 1373 COVID-19 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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