OPINION

COVID-19 VACCINE AND THE NIGERIAN SYSTEM-Femi Ehiabhi

At the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Nigerian government and its officials saw how other climes put in place management systems for containing the strains before it even we had our first situations in Nigeria. We still seem to be taken unawares on how to manage this pandemic as we were still contemplating whether to stop international flights from coming in to Nigeria, especially from UK. Gbam, we had persons coming in from UK and we had our stories of infections thereafter!
We now have a second wave and again a new strain of the Covid-19 pandemic that is reportedly from UK and we have been caught flat footed again as we dilly dally as to when and how are we going to contain this new Covid-19 strain.
The discovery of vaccines from varied sources and the placing of others for same by countries seem to have taken us by surprise again! In our 2021 Budget, that have been approved, we unwittingly did not make provisions for the purchase of Vaccines there! Government officials kept telling us that they are expecting Vaccines to be delivered by 22nd day of January but no back up as to how it would be purchased? Is it that we are relying on handout from the WHO (World Health Organization).
The way other countries have given priorities to Health workers and older persons that would get the vaccines first have not been indicated by our government only for us to be told about a sharing formula that smacks of no identifiable basis as to how it was shared especially as Lagos, which has the highest infections, according to NCDC, relegated to second place, behind Kano!
Other climes have ensured that it is supposed to be distributed without emphasis on party because it is not a party based pandemic. Hoping that our system would not emphasis party based distribution. There also have to be a system where these Vaccines are not hoarded just as what happened with the palliatives that were found in warehouses and a lot of responses from government to defend the lapses of sincere distribution.
The question is, for a population of over 200 million, how was it decided that 100 thousand Vaccines would be a starting point of Vaccination. Time would tell.
That’s the way genie sees it!

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