Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Kayode Fayemi has disclosed that Nigeria was planning to procure about 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, to cover 40% of the population, while another 60 million doses was being planned for 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruptions to the health and economy of nations, including Nigeria.
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Speaking on “The role of Nigeria’s state governments in recovery: Responses to COVID-19 linked challenges” at Chatham House Event, London, United Kingdom, on Tuesday, Fayemi said state governors were working with the federal government to ensure availability of vaccines in the country.
He said the NGF invited experts to brief governors on vaccine procurement and administration last week, adding that there was a National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, where the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) shared the plans around vaccines procurement.
He said Nigeria’s approach to tackling the scourge of the virus and its impact on the nation must shift from emergency response to strengthening the resilience and sustainability of the health system in the country.
“Beyond government’s procurement of vaccines, we at the NGF are also strong proponents of the utilisation of public-private partnerships in vaccines procurement as a means of closing the gap between what is available and what is necessary to achieve herd immunity.
“As we already know, vaccines themselves are not cost effective, but rather immunisation is. To ensure people are immunized, state governments have a role to play in supporting the logistics and ensuring people get the vaccines.
“Using the Vaccines Readiness Assessment Tool (ViRAT), I have encouraged my colleagues to revisit and strengthen their vaccines cold chain and logistics, step up demand creation and communication and map out priority persons to receive vaccines amongst other things.
“Plans must also be comprehensive enough to address other areas that could create a logistical nightmare such as storing vaccines, reaching out and ensuring people come back to receive their second doses,” the governor said.
“We have considerable experience on this, having handled polio vaccination which actually led to the eradication wild polio virus in Nigeria.
“On the economic front, our major priority is to secure livelihoods. National monetary and fiscal policy reforms must align to support improvements in household income. Working with the federal government, a number of employment creation programs have been created and currently being implemented,” the governor said.