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FG needs N400bn for COVID-19 vaccines, health minister tells senate

Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says the federal government needs about N400 billion for COVID-19 vaccines.

He disclosed this during a briefing with the senate leadership in Abuja.

Nigeria has recorded a surge in COVID-19 cases which has claimed over 1,220 lives in the country.

Ehanire said the federal government is ready for a COVID-19 vaccine that will save lives.

He said about N400 billion would be required to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigeria’s over 200 million population, at $8 per person.

The minister added that N156 billion will be needed in 2021 while N200 billion will be used for vaccination in 2022.

On the issue of storage, the minister explained that the COVID-19 vaccines will be stored in the same storage facilities (cold chains) used to store the polio vaccines.

Responding, Senate President Ahmad Lawan expressed lack of confidence in the ability of the federal ministry of health to effectively store and distribute the COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive in the country.

He said the national assembly is ready to support funding of the vaccines, but added that more needs to be done on the part of the ministry.

“I have not been convinced with your presentation that we are ready to bring in the vaccines,” he said.

“You have to do much more to convince me that we are ready.”

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