We need N400bn for COVID-19 vaccines, the health minister says to the senate

Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, says the federal government needs around $400 billion of COVID-19 vaccines.

He made this known during a briefing with the Senate leadership in Abuja.

Nigeria has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases that have claimed more than 1,220 lives in the region.

Ehanire said the federal government is ready for a life-saving vaccine called COVID-19.

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

The Minister added that EUR 156 billion will be required in 2021, while EUR 200 billion will be used for vaccination in 2022.On the question of storage, the Minister clarified that the COVID-19 vaccines will be housed in the same storage facilities (cold chains) used to store polio vaccines.

In response, Senate President Ahmad Lawan expressed lack of confidence in the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Health to effectively store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive in the country.

He said the National Assembly is ready to support the funding of vaccines, but added that more needs to be done by 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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