Senate asks FG to procure, distribute COVID-19 vaccine to Nigerians

The Senate has charged the Federal Government to provide adequate funds for the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigerians.

It described the government’s inability to produce a plan for the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccine despite the that many other countries have completed plans on the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccines
to their citizens as a failure.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Senator Oloriegbe Ibrahim, the Senate also directed its Committee on Health and Primary Health Care to Invite the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Finance the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, and other relevant agencies to present to it details of plan approval, Protocol, Funding, Procurement, Administration and Monitoring of Covid-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

It lamented that “between 28th February 2020 and 2nd December 2020, 67, 960 cases of the Covid-19 has been reported in Nigeria and sadly 1,177 persons diagnosed with the condition have died. 63, 839 has been discharged.”

The Senate also expressed worries that the level of compliance with measures put in place to check the COVID-19 spread has been diminishing.

It further expresses worries that the level of testing, detection and isolation of confirmed cases have been reducing in the country.

The upper legislative chamber also asked the Federal Government to take advantage of the fact that some countries have approved vaccines for COVID-19 and are administering the vaccine to their citizens.

The Senate noted that “the only plan on Covid-19 Vaccine for Nigeria is the pledge by Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative (GAVI) to support 20% of the country’s vaccine requirement.

This support, according to the Senate, “will cover only the cost of the vaccines without taking care of logistics requirement for distribution and administration”

“Despite the change in the epidemiology trends of the disease, the financial plan developed by the country and World Bank in April 2020 to fund the response to the pandemic is still being implemented without taking due cognizance to the changes by re-allocating the funds to vaccine procurement,” Senate noted.

The Senate also noted that failure to administer vaccines to Nigeria will result in the country not being able to control the COVID-19 infection and a possible ban on travelling by Nigerians may be instituted by countries around the world.

“The consequence of non-administration of the vaccine to Nigerians will include worsening social and economy situation,” the Senate said.

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