The federal and state governments on Tuesday began deliberations on how Moderna vaccine doses Nigeria received from the United States on Monday would be shared.
It was gathered that state commissioners of health held several meetings on Tuesday in Abuja with officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 as well as the Federal Ministry of Health.
It was learnt that the meetings also discussed the logistics for moving the doses to states.
States such as Lagos, among others, which have been flagged as trouble spots will get priority attention when the distribution of coronavirus vaccine doses resumes.
The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview on a Channels Television programme, Sunrise Daily, just as the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said the distribution of Moderna vaccine doses might begin in the next two weeks.
Sources at the meetings, however, said the specific amount of doses that would be allocated to each state had yet to be finally decided.
The PSC on Monday raised red alert on rising COVID-19 cases in Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Oyo, Rivers and Ekiti states, noting the Delta variant was responsible for the increase.
On Tuesday, Faisal said the NPHCDA was working with the NCDC and the Ministry of Health on how the vaccine doses would be distributed.
He said, “Without a shadow of doubt, Lagos will get the highest number of doses.
“The states which have also been placed on red alert by the Presidential Steering Committee are also prioritised.
“We have dispensed 37 ultra-cooling equipment to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.”
Unlike in the first phase of vaccination when frontline workers were prioritised, the NPHCDA boss said this time, anybody from 18 years and above would have access to the vaccine.
“We believe that we have captured a good number of the frontline workers during the first phase of vaccination,” he explained.
Shuaib noted that his agency had been receiving huge support from state governors on the vaccination.
Recall that Nigeria on Monday received four million doses of Moderna vaccine from the US almost a month after 3.9 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses it got from COVAX were exhausted.
Also recall that, on Thursday, the Federal Government said it would give N36bn to states to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
A source at the meeting in Abuja said, “There was a meeting of state commissioners for health and Federal Ministry of Health today. We don’t know the quantity of vaccine doses that will be given to each state.”
When asked if the Federal Government had released N1bn to each of the states as promised, the source said the money had yet to be released.
“But we discussed the guidelines on how the money would be spent,” the source said.Follow us on social media