The Federal Government, yesterday, declared it would not purchase COVID-19 vaccines from private importers or uncertified vaccines from the black market.
The government hinged its decision on reports of the proliferation of large-scale fraud and counterfeit vaccines in circulation.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, announced the decision at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) briefing on COVID-19.
They added that no vaccine would be allowed into the country until they are certified by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The minister explained that involving the private sector in dispensing vaccine would be studied by the vaccine coordinating committee and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He said: “We must, however, remember that the COVID-19 vaccine is not an ordinary routine vaccine, but an unfamiliar, novel vaccine with properties that are still being studied. There may be side effects during their administration, for which government must issue indemnification and take responsibility, which will not cover vaccines imported or administered privately, outside of the legal framework.
“We applaud moves to support COVID-19 vaccine financing by the Nigerian private sector, which will be exclusively channelled through the account Nigeria has opened with the Afrexim Bank in Addis Ababa,” the minister said.
He said the emergency authorisation for Astrazeneca vaccine by NAFDAC would clear the way for delivery of the first set of the vaccine around the end of February.