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COVID-19: FG to set up indigenous vaccine production

The Federal Government of Nigeria says it has concluded plans to set up a modern vaccine production company in Nigeria and work towards licensed indigenous…

The Federal Government of Nigeria says it has concluded plans to set up a modern vaccine production company in Nigeria and work towards licensed indigenous production for the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this on Tuesday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, the ministry was preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a first line pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, on a Public/Private Partnership (PPP) to set up the company.

Ehanire also said that the government was working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure Nigeria’s access to the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

He also expressed concern over the decline in the testing rate in several states of the federation, as over 2.8 million cases were reported globally in the last one week.

“The evolving global situation of COVID-19 gives us much reason for concern.

“The UK, France, Germany, Spain and others in Europe have resorted to lockdown and other measures, to control the pandemic.

“With the high volume of air traffic between Nigeria and Europe, we are examining the associated risk factors for Nigeria.

“Our concern is heightened by several emerging factors that challenge whatever gains we may have made in recent months: the inevitable need to reopen air travel, to stimulate economic activities, the imminent reopening of schools and youth service, again necessary for restoration of social order, but which global experience links with spikes in COVID-19 infection rates in most countries,” Ehanire said.

He said that a total of 63,036 confirmed cases have been recorded as at Tuesday, 3 November, out of 627,600 persons tested so far for COVID-19, with 59,328 cases treated and discharged.