By Damilola Adeyemo
ABUJA – The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has told newsmen that the federal government has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The Ministry of Finance has released N10 billion to support domestic vaccine production. While we are working to develop our own vaccines, Nigeria is exploring options for licensed production, in collaboration with recognized institutions. We are also exploring the option of local production of the vaccines in the country.Osagie Ehanire
THE PUNCH reports that the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, recently made a case for the local production of vaccines, noting that it is one of the ways to gain from the opportunities offered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Osinbajo made the call at a virtual meeting with top government officials and a group of Nigerian scientists who have been working on some of the public health dimensions of the pandemic.
In a statement, he said,
I think that we must be talking now about local vaccine production, improving the training of laboratory scientists, and generally improving our capacity to respond in various ways. We must really focus on the opportunities that this period gives us. What I have noticed is that unless something like this happens, we are very frequently relaxed and just hope for the best. I think we are in a position now where we can do a lot. There is an opportunity to do more in terms of government funding.Osagie Ehanire
Disclosing this during a PTF meeting in Abuja, Ehanire said the health ministry was preparing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with a first-line pharmaceutical company in Nigeria, on a public/private partnership to set up the company.
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