Nigerians should look forward to the end of February for possible arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has hinted. It noted: “On the ill-fated pronouncement made by a member of the forum regarding the COVID-19 vaccines in a national daily, the forum totally and categorically dissociated itself from the statement.
“The forum will continue to be guided by science and ensure that every decision it takes retained public and professional trust.” NGF, at a virtual meeting on Wednesday, said the country was working with the World Bank to get existing vaccines.
The body, in a communiqué yesterday, said its chairman and Ekiti helmsman, Kayode Fayemi, briefed members on the meeting with chair of the board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on the rollout.
Fayemi was said to have told the gathering that there was an arrangement for the World Health Organisation (WHO) “to facilitate pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across developing countries. Nigeria is among 12 countries in Africa that have indicated readiness from the 92 qualified countries for the facility. And will by end of February 2021, receive its first shipment of vaccines.”
The forum said it also received briefings from some medical professionals, including Professor Oyewale Tomori; Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); Dr. Pamela Ajayi, President Healthcare Federation of Nigeria; and Dr. Egbe Dawodu, Founding Partner, Anadach Group, on Nigeria’s preparedness for procurement and administration of the treatment, as well as the level of collaboration required from stakeholders at the federal, state and private sector levels.
Following the presentations, the organnisation said it had raised a team of experts, led by Tomori, to advise the governors on procurement and administration of the vaccines.
Delta State Ifeanyi Okowa, who doubles as chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, deplored the rising positive cases.
He therefore called on his colleagues to reactivate their health systems, open up treatment centres and increase partnership with stakeholder groups with a view to improving risk communication and adherence to extant guidelines.
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