State governments are currently waiting on the Federal Government to take action in terms of the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria as many of them have started to run out of stock, PUNCH reports.
AMILOADED gathered through PUNCH that while some states have the capacity to purchase the vaccine directly from the manufacturers, they, however, can’t because manufacturers only deal with federal governments.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, stated, “Most manufacturers of these vaccines do not want to deal with sub-national, they want to deal directly with the Federal Government. So, we have to wait, no matter the situation on what the Federal Government wants to do.”
“We are a sub-national, before we take any step we have to go through the Federal Government. The FG has some policies about vaccination which we must follow. We are still waiting for the Federal Government before we make decision on vaccine importation.”
According to the Bauchi State Government, it has no plans to buy additional COVID-19 vaccine doses for the state.
The Executive Chairman, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Rilwan Mohammed, told one of our correspondents that the state government had just received additional 24,000 doses of the vaccine from the Federal Government in addition to the earlier 80,570 doses it received.
Mohammed, who is the Contact and Surveillance Sub-Committee Chairman, Bauchi State Task Force on COVID-19 said, “Bauchi State is not ready to import any COVID-19 vaccine because the Federal Government just yesterday (Saturday), released additional 24,000 doses to us. This is in addition to the 80,570 we had earlier received.”
On its part, the Sokoto State said this week it would exhaust the remaining doses of the vaccine it had.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammad Ali Inname, told one of our correspondents that out of the 68,660 vaccines the state received, it had exhausted 34,000, on 21,000 people.
Inname stated, “Plans have been concluded to take the remaining vaccine doses to all the local government areas in the state. This will be done in the next ten days, to exhaust the remaining 34,000 doses.”
When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Osun State Governor on Public Health, Dr. ‘Siji Olamiju, stated, “Once we know Federal Government’s plan, I can assure you that the state government of Osun will be the first to kick start process of getting vaccine because Mr Governor places high premium on the healthy living of the residents.”
Also, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Augustine Umoh, said that vaccines were only available to countries, not states.
He said “Yes, plans are still in place to bring in vaccines by the country. Vaccines are available only to countries, not states.”
The Kano State Coordinator of the Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Tijjani Husain, said that it was the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to provide COVID-19 vaccine doses to the states.
He disclosed that the Federal Government recently provided 10,000 additional doses of the vaccine to Kano State after it exhausted the 209,520 doses of the Oxford Astrazenica vaccine it received earlier.