Nigeria may spend around $576 million to procure COVID-19 vaccine , it was gathered at the weekend.
The government plans to immunise 70 per cent of Nigerians who are at risk of the virus, Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib 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.
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
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).
He added: “Since only about 20 per cent supplies is being expected from GAVI, the country’s team is working with Russian authorities on the possibility of getting additional COVID 19 vaccines from them.
“In 2021, about $4.0 /dose ($8.0 / person for two doses) is being budgeted for the additional vaccine that the country will require .
“The Federal Government will be responsible for the procurement of additional COVID-19 vaccines for 50 per cent of the population and all the operational costs for the targeted 70 per cent of the population.”
The NPHCDA boss said COVID-19 vaccination will not be compulsory, but will be made available to all those targeted.
“And we advise / appeal to all Nigerians at risk to avail themselves of vaccination willingly when the vaccines are available. Vaccines to be used in the country are safe with proven efficacy of above 90 per cent.
“All vaccines acquired by the government for vaccination of its citizen will pass through NAFDAC for analysis before use.”
Shuaib said the Federal Government has raised a Technical Working Group (TWG) to plan a successful COVID-19 immunisation.
Dr Shuaib chairs the TWG whose members are stakeholders involved in COVID-19 response. These are: FMoH, NPHCDA, NCDC, NAFDAC, Federal Min of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Federal Ministry of Information, National Orientation Agency (NOA), NTA, CSOs, Professional bodies and Organised Private Sectors. Other members are development partners and donors.
The WHO and other International NGOs/Foundations will provide technical support to the team.
Speaking on the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, Dr. Shuaib said: “COVID-19 vaccines that have been pre-qualified will protect against most strains and reduce morbidity and mortality from the disease. It will be better to reduce the risk than not want to take the vaccine.”
He added: “There are over 80 strains of Rotavirus, but only about 18 of the strains are of significance that can cause major diseases. Available Rotavirus vaccines can prevent against infection from the strains that cause the diseases.
“Coronavirus is linked to the SAR-2 Group of viruses; and there has been a lot of researches since the last Flu- pandemic that claimed several lives globally.”
Sanwo-Olu: Any Malaria-Like Symptoms Should Be Considered To Be COVID-19
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said any malaria-like symptom should now be considered and treated as COVID-19 until proven otherwise.
The governor, who briefed newsmen at the State House, Ikeja on COVID-19 update in the state said such symptoms should be considered COVID-19 virus infections unless proven otherwise.
“In this second wave of the current pandemic, any malaria-like symptoms should be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until otherwise proven. Any affected individual with COVID-like symptoms should proceed to any of our public health facilities and/or laboratories to get tested for free,” he said.
The governor also said it was important that people did not stigmatise or discriminate against anyone affected by the virus, as it is not a death sentence.
“Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that required them. Five of these 10 centres have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks,” he said
Doctor Suspended In 2015 For Flogging Son In UK Reinstated
A Nigerian consultant anaesthetist Adekunle Okunuga based in the United Kingdom has been reinstated following his suspension from work for beating his son.
The 59-year-old medical personnel, who was arrested after the incident in June 2014, blamed his cultural upbringing in Nigeria for the act, Daily Mail UK reports.
He said corporal punishments are common in Nigeria.
Okunuga caned his son for misbehaving in school and made him stand one leg with his arms in the air while he kicked him.
He also caned the boy’s open palms with a walking stick.
The boy got into trouble in school for not submitting homework, lying to other pupils, using the word ‘rape’ and for stamping in any injured girl during PE lesson.
In 2015, Okunuga’s name was ordered to be removed from the medical register after he was found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary panel.
The doctor, who has been working at the National Orthopaedic Hospital in Lagos, is now free to return to work at the University Hospital Coventry, Igbere TV reports.
“My actions embarrassed the medical profession and brought it into disrepute and as a member of the medical community, I should be role model. I apologised sincerely to the GMC and the wider public,” he was quoted to have said.
“My behaviour was born out of my cultural upbringing, I should have known better and I take full responsibility for my actions. If I were to witness a similar occurrence by one of my colleagues, I would be the first to speak up and take action and report it to the appropriate authorities.
“I have been working abroad but have always given full disclosure of my sanction to all employers and the relevant medical authorities.
“I have attended courses in order to maintain my professional development and am clinically ready to resume practice in the United Kingdom where I could be of tremendous support to the medical community.”
After the incident, he was arrested and convicted at Leamington Spa magistrates court for ill treating a child and was sentenced to eight weeks in jail and ordered to complete 160 hours unpaid work.
The boy was temporarily put in foster care and was later returned to his family.
COVID-19: Lagos Orders Civil Servants To Work From Home Till Feb 1
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has directed civil servants on Level 14 and below to work from home till February 1, 2021 as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease amid the second wave of the pandemic.
This was contained in a statement signed on Saturday by the Head of Service in the state, Hakeem Muri-Okunola.
Muri-Okunola, however, noted that the directive excludes staff on essential duty as well as first responders.
He said, “Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has approved a further extension of the work-from-home order to all State Public Servants on Grade Levels 14 and below from Monday, 18th January 2021, to Monday, 1st February 2021, to curtail the spread of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He urged all public servants to stay safe and ensure continued observance of all COVID-19 protocols for physical distancing, use of face masks, regular washing of hands with soap and running water as well as the use of hand sanitisers.”
Muri-Okunola also stated that the weekly duty rosters should be maintained for effective service delivery by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the State Government.
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