NIGERIAN government officials have announced details of their proposed Covid-19 vaccination plan with proposals to spend a total of $576m administering the vaccine to about 72m people at a cost of $8 a shot.
Like most other nations, Nigeria is looking to begin vaccinate its citizens this month following the availability of vaccines. Dr Faisal Shuaib, the director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHDA), said that Nigeria is hoping to immunise 70% of the population who are at risk of the virus.
He added that offering the free vaccine to immunise 20% of those to be vaccinated, will be made available to the country and 91 other countries by the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (Gavi). Dr Shuaib added that the first batch of 100,000 Pfizer vaccine doses from the Covax facility will arrive in the country at the end of this month or early next month.
According to Dr Shuaib, this will be used in two jabs each on 50,000 Nigerians. To vaccinate 50% of Nigerians, the government will need to pay $8 for two doses each.
According to the United Nations data and the data made available by the National Population Commission, Nigeria’s population is 206m and the target is to vaccinate 70% of its populace (144.2m) of its 206m people. At the rate of $8 for two doses per person, Nigeria’s government will spend at least $576m to vaccinate 50% of the population of 72.1m people.
Should the country choose to vaccinate half of its total population, which is about 103m , it will spend about $824m. Dr Shuaib said: “The country is expecting the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine with the first batch coming in by the end of January/early February.
“The country is not buying any Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer or China. The country plans to get Covid-19 vaccines from two sources – Gavi and direct purchases from alternative sources.”
He added that vaccination will not be compulsory but will be made available to all those targeted. Dr Shuaib said the federal government has raised a technical working group to plan a successful Covid-19 immunisation.
“We advise/appeal to all Nigerians at risk to avail themselves of vaccination willingly when the vaccines are available. Vaccines to be used in the country are safe with proven efficacy of above 90% and all vaccines acquired by the government for vaccination of its citizen will pass through the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for analysis before use,” Dr Shuaib added.