The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says the Federal Government is aware of official reports of large scale fraud and counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines already in circulation.
He said this in Abuja yesterday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said since the nation’s vaccine needs for this year were virtually fully satisfied by multilateral and bilateral original manufacturer sources, the ministry did not, for now, intend to procure vaccines from private importers.
The minister said no vaccine would be allowed into the country unless certified by the NAFDAC.
“The need to involve the private sector in dispensing vaccine will be studied by the vaccine coordinating committee and NPHCDA, who has the mandate to administer vaccines in Nigeria.”
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, pleaded with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.
He assured Nigerians that no stone would be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines.
“We therefore plead for patience and vigilance,” Mustapha said.
He recalled that NAFDAC had last week granted emergency use authorization for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria.
He said the PTF had been assured that Nigeria would receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon.
“The multi-sectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the ‘last-mile administration’ processes put in place.
He said there had been preliminary results from the ongoing COVID-19 Seroprevalence Household Survey which was to measure the seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in the population of selected states of Lagos, Enugu, Gombe and Nasarawa by sex and age group based on fraction of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or subclinical infections.