FG: Nigeria, Others Seek Fair Price for COVID-19 Vaccines

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* MTN donates $25m to Africa for 7million doses

Ejiofor Alike

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). Dr. Shuaib Faisal, has disclosed that the delay in the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines was because countries were negotiating price reduction, safety and effectiveness and required logistics to stop ongoing community transmission of the virus.

Faisal stated this in a statement issued yesterday by the agency’s Head (Public Relations), Mohammad Ohitoto tiled: “Investment in COVID – 19 vaccines will strengthen PHC system in Nigeria”.

This is coming as MTN has announced a donation of $25 million to support the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Faisal said, “While the country appreciates the global effort through the COVAX facility to ensure low and medium income countries like Nigeria have fair and equitable access to the COVID – 19 vaccine, the delay in accessing vaccines means that eligible countries would have to explore all channels that can ensure fair prices, safe and effective vaccines for its populace. “

“The expected engagement of additional healthcare workers to administer the vaccine and ensure non-disruption of routine services, the intensive capacity building and the acquisition of new and additional cold chain equipment will contribute immensely to strengthening the PHC system.”

According to him, as the country awaits the arrival of the first batch of COVID – 19 vaccine this month, state governments should put all the necessary logistics in place to ensure a successful vaccination exercise.

Meanwhile, MTN has announced a donation of $25 million to support the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme.

The MTN, in a statement, said the donation would help secure up to seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for African countries.

President and Chief Executive Officer of MTN Group, Ralph Mupita, in the statement stated, “The devastating impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and profound. Public and private partnerships are needed if we are to succeed in the fight against the pandemic and restore social and economic norms for our continent and our communities.”

The statement added that: “In a unique public-private partnership, we announced a donation of $25 million to support the African Union’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, working with the Africa CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and the African Union Vaccination Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

“The donation will help secure an estimated seven million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and cover associated distribution costs for the rollout of vaccines in Africa being secured for frontline healthcare workers across the 55 member states of the African Union.”