On Wednesday the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said that Nigeria is likely to take delivery of COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021 as the second wave of the virus looms. This was made known during an interview with the State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting.
Ehanire further said that the right efforts are in place already to ensuring Nigeria get the vaccine for the usage of his people. Nothing that a committee has already been set up and already working tirelessly for the nation to be a beneficiary of the right vaccine that can suit the peculiarity of the nation.
According to the minister, the vaccines are of different types and can be preserved under different conditions and temperature thus the need to be tactical in getting the vaccine for Nigerians in general.
He further noted that Nigeria has signed up with the World Health Organisation and the GAVI Alliance for access to vaccines immediately they are available.
While saying that the countries where they are being manufactured will naturally give their citizens priority, he expressed the hope that the pressure from the WHO and GAVI will be able to get reserves for other countries that are not manufacturing.
“We signed up for advanced market participation in COVAX. So, if we will be able to get our own, I think it will be in January. But there are two types of vaccines. There are those that have to be in ultra-deep freezers – the MRA type of vaccines. That is the freezer that must give you -80 per cent type of degree”, Ehanire said.
“There is another type that has to be in the deep freezer of -20 degree which is a deep freezer and there is another type that can be in -2 degree refrigerators. This is the regular refrigerator.
“The one that will be in regular refrigerators is easy. We have them here. The one that will be in -20 refrigerators is also going to be possible because we also have the freezers here but the one that will be in ultra-cold freezers, we hardly have ultra-cold freezers in this country and to receive and store in those ultra-cold freezers will require that you purchase the ultra-cold freezers.
“So, we are working on the cost. Which one shall we get first? Obviously, the one we can afford. Remember that we have 200 million citizens. We need to have a way to be able to get enough to be able to take care of our citizens.
“So, that means we must be able to get the vaccines that work well, with good cost of storage and cost of delivery. That is the one we will like to get as soon as they are available”, Dr Osagie Ehanire concluded.