Health analysts mock Nigeria’s plan to vaccinate 40% of its 200 million population as Covid-19 case jumps to 105, 478

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Nigeria wants to vaccinate as much as 40% of its population against the coronavirus in 2021, a government official said, in a plan that was described as unfeasible by a state governor and analysts.

Meanwhile “As at 14th January 2021, there are 105, 478 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria, 83, 830 discharged and 1,405 dead.

“Our discharges today include 642 community recoveries in Lagos State, 312 in Oyo State and 99 in Plateau State managed in line with guidelines.

“A breakdown of cases by state can be found via http://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng,” it said.

As a first step, the country of more than 200 million people expects to receive 100,000 doses of Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine at the end of January through the Covax initiative, Faisal Shuaib, chief executive officer of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said Thursday on Bloomberg TV. Covax has not started shipping vaccines yet and has not given a precise date for when it will begin.

The country has secured the services of the private sector for ultra-cold storage facilities to help store and distribute the vaccines, Shuaib said. Ideally, Nigeria should have at least 70% of the population vaccinated by the end of 2022, he said.

Cheta Nwanze, lead partner with Lagos-based risk consultancy SBM Intelligence, dismissed the plan as improbable.

“There are quite a number of factors that work against Dr Shuaib’s hopes,” he said by email. “We don’t have a) the money, and b) the infrastructure to distribute this amount of vaccines.”

Authorities have yet to provide details about deals with vaccine producers to secure enough doses. The governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, plans to approach manufacturers directly because the number of Pfizer vaccines allocated to his state by the federal government would amount to about 1,800, which he described as “grossly inadequate,” according to Punch newspaper.

Africa’s most populous country has reported 103,999 cases, with 1,382 deaths, but testing is not easily accessible for most people. Only about 1.1 million tests have been performed so far.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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