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Less than four per cent of Nigerians’ll be vaccinated by 2021 – Osinbajo

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said although Nigeria has received help from friendly nations and the Covax alliance, less than four per cent of its eligible population would have been vaccinated by the end of the year.

He also said the country could not afford not to have its own vaccine production facilities.

Osinbajo said this on Monday in Abuja at the International Conference on Health Access beyond COVID-19.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement titled, ‘Nigeria has what it takes to become a leader in healthcare, says Osinbajo’.

“Although we have received some help from friendly nations and the Covax alliance, less than four per cent of our eligible population will have been vaccinated by the end of the year. There is no question that we cannot afford not to have our own vaccine production facilities,” he said.

The vice-president also called for a private sector-led initiative to make the country self-sufficient in basic drugs’ production and in being a net exporter to Africa, noting that Nigeria had the human capital to build a more efficient health care system.

“Nigeria is in talks with the World Bank’s private lending arm and other lenders to raise about $30m to help finance a vaccine plant, Biovaccines Nigeria Limited, chaired by Prof Oyewale Tomori; 49 per cent of the company is owned by the Nigerian government, with the balance held by May & Baker Nigeria Plc. There are plans to begin construction of the plant in the first quarter of next year,” Osinbajo stated.

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