FG, commissioners meet over sharing of 3.9million vaccine doses today

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The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has convened a meeting with commissioners for health in the 36 states as part of efforts to ensure effective sharing and distribution of COVID-19 vaccine.

The Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, and his counterpart in Cross River State, Dr Betta Edu, who disclosed this said the meeting would hold in Abuja on Thursday (today).

It was gathered that some commissioners met the Federal Government officials on Wednesday over the distribution of the vaccine.

Nigeria on Tuesday received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the third African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.

COVAX, an initiative co-led by the Vaccine Alliance, GAVI and the World Health Organisation. seeks to ensure equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine by dividing about two billion doses across 92 low-and middle-income countries.

While receiving the vaccine on behalf of the Federal Government, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had said, “The consignment of the vaccine is just 3.924 million doses of the expected 16 million doses from the COVAX Facility.”

Recall that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency had on Monday commenced online registration of Nigerians interested in taking COVID-19 vaccination.

Plateau State commissioner for health said, “As I am talking to you, I am on my way to Abuja for a meeting with the minister of health. All the commissioners for health in the 36 states will also be there for the meeting on Thursday (tomorrow).”

On its part, the Kano State Government says it is expecting no fewer than 155,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Federal Government.

The Coordinator of the state Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Tijjani Hussaini, who disclosed this stated, “Although we have not finalised the issue of the number of doses to be given to each state, Kano is expecting no fewer 155,000 doses of the vaccine from the Federal Government.

“We hope to begin the vaccination any time after March 12, 2021 when the exercise would have been inaugurated at the national level.”

The Lagos State Government says it is awaiting its share of the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that it has prepared facilities to store the doses.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho, said the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had inaugurated a committee to handle all aspects of the vaccination.

He said, “We are waiting to receive our own consignment from Abuja. Lagos is ready in terms of cold safe management and logistics. The Federal Ministry of Health has published a strategy for administering the vaccine and we are keying into that.

“As far as storage is concerned, we are ready for that. We already have a committee in place inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to handle the vaccine’s arrival, storage, who and who to be vaccinated, how many of our people we can vaccinate and all other details. The committee has been working and all we are awaiting is the arrival of the vaccine.”

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