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Nigeria expecting 29 million COVID-19 vaccines, says Ehanire

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Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire PHOTO: Twitter

• Warns against disobedience to existing safety protocols
• Tomori charges FG to procure doses and not rely on donations
• 2.5m children face severe acute malnutrition

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, yesterday, said Nigeria was expecting 29 million Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines between June and July, adding that India, which supplied the first batch of the AstraZeneca jabs, had stopped more supplies owing to constraints.

He advised Nigerians to sustain extant safety protocols, warning that the country was not yet out of the woods.

This came as indication emerged that the effects of the third wave on a number of countries have forced the authorities to buoy its lobbying of foreign partners to facilitate vaccination of more Nigerians in the coming days.

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The minister, who spoke at a press briefing organised by the Presidential Media Team, submitted that Nigeria was disposed to any good vaccine sanctioned by the National Agency for Food ad Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

He said the Federal Government had begun exploring available windows by partnering with the United Nations, World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Bank and others to secure more supplies to achieve its 70 per cent vaccination target by 2022, noting that only two per cent of the population (2,000,000 citizens) had been vaccinated.

Ehanire said the over 10,000 persons that received the first round of jabs complained of mild reactions like head ache, feverish conditions and body pains, stating that the complaints were not strong enough to write off the AstraZeneca vaccine as ineffective.

SIMILARLY, Chairman, Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, has charged government to procure the vaccines instead of relying on donations.

He said it was lack of preparedness that put Nigeria in this tight corner.

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The professor of virology, who was the book reviewer at the unveiling of “30 Laws of Good Health” written by Dr. Bola Olaosebikan, said the nations with sufficient quantities of the doses were bold enough to take a gamble that eventually paid off.

Tomori said the nation would have achieved progress in local vaccine production were self-interest not prioritised over public good.

ALSO yesterday, the government said 2.5 million under-five children were facing Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) across the federation.

Ehanire, who made the stunning revelation at a consultative meeting with indigenous producers of nutrition commodities in Abuja, pleaded with stakeholders, partners, sub-national governments and corporate organisations to support the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in achieving improved local production of nutrition items for Nigerians.

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