New Telegraph

COVID-19 vaccine: NARD president urges FG to prioritise procurement

The National President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, has urged the Federal Government to prioritise the provision of the vaccine by sourcing urgent alternative funding to achieve this objective. Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Saturday Telegraph, Uyilawa said not making provision in the 2020 Budget for the procurement of the Coronavirus vaccine should not be an excuse for not getting the needed vaccines.

He said: “They already have some funds they are trying to get from other parastatals for the essence of procuring the vaccines because of the importance that COVID-19 vaccine is going to achieve. “I am also aware that the president is banking on some money they may release. I know definitely they are wise enough to know that the health of the nation lies in their hands.

“The procurement of those vaccines is a priority for the government in order not to affect the health of Nigerians generally. “I am aware there is an arrangement for the procurement of the vaccine; the Federal Government is already making plans to procure the vaccines before the month runs out.” However, the NARD boss faulted the lack of good statistics of the spread of the COVID-19 infection in the country, showing the pattern of the disease spread. “That is where I fault them.

I believe that by now they should have a good study or data of the areas that are more affected so that the vaccines should be channeled to such places, rather than trying to use the population of a place to determine the quantity of vaccines the place gets.

“We cannot be giving Kano State more vaccines than Lagos when we know that Lagos has more numbers which has skyrocketed in the current progression of new infection outbreak.” Similarly, he noted that the Pfizer vaccine they are going for has specific ways to store them, which is -5. He added: “That is where I think we may have a problem because the storage of those vaccines is very important; if you don’t store them well it is more like a waste.”

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