Nigeria to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January, FG says

The federal government says Nigerians will receive the coronavirus vaccine by January 2021.

Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this at the end of Wednesday’s federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

He said a technical working group in the ministry is working on which vaccine will best suit Nigeria, considering that the country has no -80 degrees freezers.

The federal government had previously announced that the country was working on receiving 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021.

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, had earlier assured Nigeria and other African countries of access to COVID-19 vaccines from the end of January.

This was disclosed after a closed-door meeting between Okonjo-Iweala and minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, in Abuja last week.

“As long as one person has it in the world, no one is safe. And that is why poorer countries, lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria, need to get it as quickly as possible,” she said.

Okonjo-Iweala, who chairs the board of GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, revealed that the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca were presently being negotiated so that poor countries don’t have to stand in a queue behind rich countries.

“So, the Pfizer vaccine, the AstraZeneca, those are being negotiated now so that poor countries don’t have to stand in line behind rich countries. So, we hope they are starting by the end of January,” she said.

“We will be able to reach these countries, including most of the African countries, Nigeria included, will be able to get access to some of these vaccines.

“Initially, it will be for frontline health workers, followed by some other target groups – older people, those with underlying conditions, and then, from there, the rest of the population.”

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