The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, has warned Nigerians against taking COVID-19 for granted as he stated that there is no guarantee the vaccine may be arriving the country any time soon.
Mamora disclosed this on Thursday while speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-9 briefing.
Represented by the Director, Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Adebimpe Adebiyi, he said the government is working hard to get the approved vaccines to fight the virus.
Mamora said they are trying their best to get the vaccine to the country, adding that it may not come soon enough, therefore Nigerians need to be alive to get the vaccines when they eventually come.
He said this is to underscore the importance of compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures as advised to reduce transmissibility of the virus.
Although Mr Mamora said the vaccines may not come soon, the Nigerian government had earlier said the country will receive at least 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said a letter announcing this allocation in the first phase of the delivery of the vaccines is expected from the COVAX facility during the week.
In the first phase through the COVAX facility, we expect to receive approximately 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and bioNtech vaccine by the end of January, he said.
Mr Shuaib also said the country is expecting free 42 million doses of vaccines in the second phase through the COVAX facility, an initiative run by the vaccine alliance, GAVI, to ensure equitable access to a COVID vaccine.
He said the second phase will be a combination of all the available approved vaccines currently in the market.
He added that these vaccines will cover only about 20 per cent of Nigerias over 200 million estimated population.