National coordinator of the presidential taskforce on COVID-19 (PTF), Sani Aliyu has disclosed that Nigerians will be administered the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge when the vaccination begins.
Speaking during an appearance on Channel Television on Wednesday December 23, Aliyu said there is an assurance that over 40 million Nigerians will be vaccinated through the GAVI arrangement (a vaccine alliance created to ensure that any new COVID-19 vaccine would be shared equally between the world’s richest and poorest countries).
“Yesterday, the president gave the PTF the mandate to proceed with preparations with regard to the vaccine.
“The president has also given us a marching order that the COVID-19 vaccine be available in Nigeria.
“Making use of the GAVI arrangement, we already have assurance that 20 percent of our population will be accommodated by GAVI in the vaccine.
“We don’t need to pay for that and this will cover 40 million Nigerians or so. But we have to pay for the operations and the logistics associated with it.”
On if there are plans to buy additional vaccines besides the GAVI arrangement, Aliyu added;
“We are also planning to pay for an additional 20 to 40 percent. In general, over the next two years, at least 70 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated before we can have enough herd immunity.
“The Pfizer vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines at the moment.”
When asked if the vaccine would be administered free, Aliyu said, “of course, of course”. He also advised Nigerians not to discard safety measures already in place just because of the vaccine.
Aliyu also said the PTF will make use of primary healthcare facilities that are situated in the secretariats of each of the 774 local governments areas of Nigeria for the distribution of the vaccine.
He further disclosed the primary healthcare facilities will be upgraded to take delivery and preserve the vaccine which requires cold temperature.