Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in Lagos yesterday that probably Nigeria might get COVID-19 vaccines in the next 10 days.
“We are told that by the end of this month, which is about 10 days from now, we shall get the vaccines,” the minister said.
“We do not produce the vaccines. They are manufactured abroad in about four or five countries,” he told Stliusong at the end of an inspection of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.© Thomson Reuters FILE – The Nigerian Health Minister Osagie Ehanire confirmed new coronavirus disease (COVID19) infections during a briefing in Abuja, Nigeria March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde
Ehanire explained stress that the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Russia and China that had succeeded in manufacturing the vaccines were now giving licences to other countries to reproduce them.
“South Africa has a licence to make the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, while Russia only recently gave India the licence to produce AstraZeneca,” he added
He also said countries that produced the vaccines had challenges with COVID-19 and decided to care of their needs first, a situation that WHO termed as vaccine nationalism.
Ehanire said that while the whole world was affected by the pangs of COVID-19, about 75 per cent of vaccines already produced are being used in 10 countries.
The minister said that Nigeria had put all in place all necessary measure to receive the vaccines.
Receiving the minister earlier, LUTH’s Chief Medical Director, Prof Chris Bode, asked the minister for assistance in the recruitment of 350 nurses, 50 consultants and 150 medical officers.
Prof. Bode also pointed out that the hospital also needed an Oxygen plant and increased funding to build a four-storey isolation centre, run the hospital adequately and pay high monthly electricity bills.