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    Wednesday, August 5, 2020

    COVID-19 Vaccine: Pfizer says Nigeria Top Priority

    International pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer which has announced COVID-19 supply deals with the United States and Canada, said today that Nigeria will be its priority in Africa.

    Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, Mr. Subair Olayinka, gave the assurance at a virtual meeting today with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

    The Nigerian government says the health and safety of Nigerians remain its priority as it intends to examine every possible option in the development and distribution of a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease.

    Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo stated this on Wednesday during a virtual meeting with representatives of the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine candidate on the progress of the vaccine development around the world, including Africa.

    The meeting was attended by the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib with representatives of Pfizer and Biotech, the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the BNT162 vaccine candidate.

    According to Prof. Osinbajo, the interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate “is an important conversation and it is important for us that we are prioritized-as the largest country in Africa-in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it’s eventually ready.

    “Our priority is the health of the Nigerian citizens. We continue to engage and intend to look at every possible option -from all manufacturers- of a good vaccine. We want to do the very best for our people in this regard.”

    During the meeting the Vice President asked several questions about the the COVID-19 vaccine candidate including how quickly Nigeria could get the vaccine once it’s safely ready.

    Responding, the Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, who spoke for the promoters, Mr. Subair Olayinka disclosed that “Nigeria will be priority,” for the vaccine supply to Africa.

    Although the vaccine trials are not going on in Nigeria currently he said the trails are ongoing in parts of the African continent and it would be entering the third phase, having concluded the first two phases successfully.

    A statement from Presidential spokesman, Laolu Akande, said the Health Ministe, Osagie Ehanire, also spoke, noting that the Nigerian government would consider quality, appropriate volume and how well and quick a vaccine can be delivered to Nigeria in deciding which manufacturer to make the supply.
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