The Senate, on Thursday, directed its Committee on Health and Primary Healthcare to invite the federal government agencies to brief it on their plan to obtain and administer COVID-19 vaccines to Nigerians.
It also urged the Federal Government to provide adequate funds for the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigerians.
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The resolutions were sequel to a motion by Senator Ibrahim Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central), who noted that some countries have approved vaccines for COVID-19 and have completed plans on the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccines to their citizens.
The United Kingdom (UK) has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination.
Britain’s medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19 illness, is safe to be rolled out.
Senator Oloriegbe expressed worry that Nigeria has not produced a plan for the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccine to Nigerians.
He noted that the only plan on COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria was the pledge by Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) to support 20% of the country’s vaccine requirement.
This support, he said, would cover only the cost of the vaccines without taking care of logistics requirement for distribution and administration
He said failure to administer vaccines to Nigeria would result in the country not being able to control the COVID-19 infection and a possible ban on travelling by Nigerians may be instituted by countries around the world.
The Senate, accordingly, directed its committee to invite the Federal Ministry of Health, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the National Agency for Food and Drugs Control (NAFDAC), NCDC, Federal Ministry of Finance and any other relevant government agencies to present to it federal government’s plan approval, protocol, funding, procurement, administration and monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
It asked the committee to report back to the Senate in 2 weeks.