Covid-19 Vaccine: Nigerians’ Health Is Our Priority – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stated that the health and safety of Nigerians are the priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration as it continues its search for vaccines for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vice president made this known during a virtual meeting with the representatives of Pfizer and Biotech, the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the BNT162 vaccine candidate.
Nigeria had recorded 31 COVID-19 related deaths in the last two days, bringing the total deaths arising from the pandemic to 927 as at Wednesday, August 5.
Speaking during the meeting, the vice president said the Federal Government intends to examine every possible option in the development and distribution of a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease.
“The interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate is an important conversation and it is important for us that we are prioritized as the largest country in Africa in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it’s eventually ready.
“Our priority is the health and safety of the Nigerian citizens. We continue to engage and intend to 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,” Osinbajo stated via a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Media & Publicity, Laolu Akande.
The statement said the vice president asked several questions about the COVID-19 vaccine candidate including how quickly can Nigeria get the vaccine once it’s ready.
Responding, the Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, who spoke for the promoters, Subair Olayinka disclosed that “Nigeria will be priority,” for the vaccine supply to Africa.
Olayinka noted that trials of the vaccine are ongoing in parts of the African continent and it would be entering the third phase, having concluded the first two phases successfully.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire who was also part of the meeting, said the government will consider quality, appropriate volume and how well and quickly a vaccine can be delivered to Nigeria in deciding which manufacturer to make the supply.