Just as a COVID vaccine has been produced internationally, a locally made one is being expected in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum says Nigeria is speeding up efforts at coming out with a locally manufactured vaccine to tackle the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Nigeria is speeding up efforts at coming out with a locally manufactured vaccine to tackle the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic in the country.

This was disclosed to State House Correspondents on Friday by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The governor, who said he visited the President for a routine meeting on behalf of the NGF, to discuss issues surrounding security, the economy, COVID-19 vaccine management and the general outlook for 2021, said he discussed the issue of vaccine exhaustively with the President.

According to him, he agreed with President Buhari that beyond shopping for and acquiring vaccines from various sources for Nigerians, the ultimate target is ramping up the local manufacturing of the vaccine, adding that there is already a partnership which a manufacturer to that effect.

“The federal government is already part of the WHO-GAVI Alliance-COVAX partnership and from what we understand from the PTF, vaccines will come from that alliance. Some of it from Pfizer in the first instance and then maybe from other various producers of the vaccines later. But there is no clarity as yet as to when these vaccines will arrive Nigeria.

“So, one of the issues raised with Mr. President is the need to accelerate the delivery of vaccines to the country, so that it will be available to our people. Those of us at the receiving end in the states, know that this is an issue we also need to ramp up our own preparedness, in terms of getting our states ready for vaccines storage particularly, the freezers and cold chains that will be required for that process.

“We need to get ourselves ready at the state level. The federal government can procure but we will receive and administer in our various states and there is a lot of work to be done in that respect.

“Of course, procurement of vaccines we also discussed. Our view is that ultimately, we really need to ramp up manufacturing of vaccines locally. It’s okay that COVAX that Nigeria is part of is going to be delivering some vaccines to us. As we understand, the first 100,000 and then 43 million and ultimately 165 million doses.

“But, there is nothing as good as having the ability to manufacture our own vaccines locally and we understand that there is a partnership with May & Baker, which is important for the federal government to really accelerate, so that we can produce the vaccines here in Nigeria and not be dependent on what is coming from other parts”, he said.

The Nation


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here