From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has disclosed that 80million doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40 per cent of the country’s population and another 60 million by 2022.
He made the disclosure at Chatham House Event, London, United Kingdom, tagged “The role of Nigeria’s state governments in recovery, responses to COVID-19 linked challenges.”
He explained that governors of the various states will utilise public – private partnerships to procure the vaccines.
Fayemi, who also reeled out statistics on how the government is fighting the pandemic, said: “We expect about 80 million doses of vaccines would be available in 2021 to cover 40 per cent of the population, while another 60 million doses is being planned for 2022.
“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 immunised, 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.”
Meanwhile, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has commissioned the State House Clinic Special Care Centre (COVID-19 Isolation Centre).
This is even as it is set to to establish COVID-19 testing laboratory at the same Clinic, that takes care of the President, Vice President, their families and presidential aides and Villa staff.
Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, performed the commissioning Tuesday.
In a statement by Deputy Director (Information), State House, Attah Esa, quoted the SGF as saying that, the current administration is using the challenges posed by the pandemic as an opportunity to change Nigeria’s health infrastructure.
Mustapha commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving resources for new health infrastructure, noting that through the PTF the 2021 budget made provision for the establishment of at least one oxygen production plant in all the States of the Federation, as well as a 10-bed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility.
Fayemi further said comprehensive plans must be done 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 Ekiti governor added that the governors have considerable experience on this, having handled polio vaccination which actually led to the eradication wild polio virus in Nigeria.
On the economic front, he said the governors major priority is to secure livelihoods.