Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says Nigeria will benefit from a proposed allocation of two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine meant for poorer countries.
He disclosed this at the the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
With more than 22 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, out of which more than 700,000 deaths have been recorded, the race for vaccines is in full force.
However, for developing countries, including Nigeria, efforts are on to secure doses of the vaccine when it is finally approved.
“Nigeria is also working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to finalise enrollment with the access to COVID-19 tools (ACT) accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring research organisations working on COVID-19 vaccine development,” Ehanire said.
“We are also interested in the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) facility, a Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) supported global initiative, to procure and assure equitable access to vaccines, as soon as they are available, especially for lower and lower-middle income countries (LMIC).
“This will prioritise Nigeria for allocation of a part of two billion vaccine doses that will be secured, in a special plan to protect the interests of poorer countries.”
There have been various efforts aimed at vaccine development across the world, with human trials ongoing in some cases — the most recent is “Sputnik V”, which President Vladimir Putin of Russia says his country has approved as a COVID-19 vaccine that works quite effectively.
Meanwhile, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).