As speculation remains on the high side over the delay in the delivery of COVID-19 vaccination, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has disclosed that the delay is caused by manufacturing issues.
According to the minister, the manufacturers of vaccines already have massive obligations and 95 per cent of vaccines manufactured globally so far has gone to only 10 rich and powerful countries.
The Nation confirmed that with the 41 million doses allocated to the country by the Africa Union’s African Vaccines Acquisition Task Team and 15 million doses from COVAX, Nigeria should be able to cover over 50 per cent of its target for 2021.
Speaking during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on covid-19 in Abuja, Ehanire said, “The date of the first arrival of vaccines in Nigeria has kept changing because the decision lies with the manufacturer, who already has heavy commitments. According to the latest information I have, we have been advised to expect the first COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, to arrive Nigeria as from February.
“As with past immunization activities, the full cooperation of State governments will be critical with regard to supporting the remuneration of vaccinators. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control is the approving Agency for all vaccines that will be used in Nigeria and this approval is required and must be sought before importation.
“Till date, only two companies have submitted the doziers of their vaccines to NAFDAC, where the evaluation is ongoing. Vaccines without NAFDAC certification are illegal and may be dangerous, in the light of fake vaccines, said to be already in circulation in parts of Europe.
“Nigeria has been allocated over 41million doses by the AU’s African Vaccines Acquisition Task Team and we can expect 15 of about 42 million doses from COVAX. Altogether, it will give us coverage for over 50 per cent of our target vaccination for 2021, if we can access all doses promised.”