• Nation top priority in Africa, promoters pledge
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, assured Nigerians of access to the novel coronavirus vaccine when developed.
During a virtual meeting with representatives of BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine candidate on progress being made to discovery a cure globally, Osinbajo said the Federal Government intends exploring every possible option and prioritises the health and safety of the citizens.
A statement issued by his media aide, Laolu Akande, said the forum was attended by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib and representatives of Pfizer and Biotech, the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the candidate.
According to Osinbajo, the interaction “is an important conversation and it is important for us that we are prioritised – as the largest country in Africa – in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it is eventually ready.
“Our priority is the health of the Nigerian citizens. We will continue to engage and look at every possible option – from all manufacturers – of a good vaccine. We want to do the very best for our people in this regard.”
Also speaking, Ehanire stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration would consider quality, appropriate volume and prompt delivery in its decision-making.
Responding, the Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, who spoke for the promoters, Mr. Subair Olayinka, disclosed that “Nigeria will be priority for the vaccine supply to Africa.”
Although the vaccine trials are not going on in the country currently, he said the experiments were on in parts of Africa, and were approaching the third phase.