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Nigeria finalising plans to procure COVID19 vaccine, says Buhari

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said his administration is finalising plans to procure the coronavirus vaccine.

The president, during his 2021 new year broadcast, also urged Nigerians to continue to observe the COVID-19 prevention guidelines in order to prevent the resurgent cycle of the virus.

“Keeping our country on a forward march is a duty which we all have and share,” Buhari said in his broadcast.

“Keeping our country safe from a resurgent cycle of COVID-19 as this administration finalizes its plans to procure and efficiently and effectively distribute the COVID-19 vaccines, I urge you all fellow citizens to observe strict COVID-19 prevention protocols,” Buhari said.

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The president however did not disclose which of the vaccines will be procured for the country. At least four vaccines have been approved by different countries across the world. Drugmakers such as Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna have rolled out their vaccines in different countries.

According to Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Nigeria has entered the second wave of coronavirus infections.

Mustapha said the number of COVID-19 cases detected in the country in the first two weeks of December indicates that a second wave of the outbreak has begun.

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Over 4,000 cases were recorded in the first two weeks of December, which Mustapha said, was caused by negligence to COVID-19 protocols in the country.

Nigeria’s COVID-19 cases are currently 87,510 with 73,713 patients treated and discharged. The country has recorded 1289 COVID-19 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Mustapha stressed that the country is at risk of losing not only the gains from the hard work of the last nine months but also the lives of citizens.

“We are in a potentially difficult phase of the COVID-19 resurgence. Accessing the hope offered by the arrival of the vaccine is still some time ahead,” he said.​​​​​​​

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Health Minister Osagie Ehanire had earlier announced that the government would receive 20 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021.


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