The European Commission has disclosed that it will provide $478 million in guarantees to purchase COVID-19 vaccine from a World Health Organization (WHO) led initiative.
Although the global health body said that Germany had joined the pact, the UN health agency was still negotiating with the bloc.
The WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Gheybreyesus during a news conference in Geneva said, “Germany has joined the COVAX facility today. And also we’re negotiating with the rest of EU members. One possibility we are checking is for the EU members to join as a bloc. I think the best way to end this pandemic is through solidarity, through cooperation, through oneness.”
The primary objective of COVAX initiative is to purchase for all countries in the world 2 billion doses of potential COVID-19 shots from several vaccine developers by the end of next year.
The European Commission said that the financial support will be provided through guarantees, although it was not clarified how these guarantees would be offered and why they were preferred to direct funding in cash.
The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said, ‘’Today, the Commission is announcing a 400 million euro contribution to COVAX for working together in purchasing future vaccines to the benefit of low and middle-income countries.’’
The EU Commission is currently negotiating advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines with several drugmakers on behalf of the 27 EU states and has previously said that the EU countries cannot buy vaccines through parallel procurement schemes.
Themoneymetrics had reported last week that American Biotechnology firm, Moderna Inc announced that it has concluded advanced talks with the European Union to supply 80 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.
The Commission said, ‘’The detailed terms and conditions for the EU’s participation and contribution will be worked out in the coming backs and weeks.’’
The Commission added in a statement that it was ready, together with EU states, “To put expertise and resources at work within COVAX to accelerate and scale-up development and manufacturing of global supply of vaccines for citizens across the world, in poor and rich countries.”
Critics have however pointed out that the Commission was effectively undermining the WHO-led initiative by having exclusive access to the vaccines through an EU scheme. The commission said that it was committed to donating to developing countries some of the vaccines it buys through its procurement.
It can be recalled that the United States, Japan, Britain and the EU have all agreed on deals to secure millions of COVID-19 vaccine for their citizens despite the WHO’s warning that vaccine nationalism will negatively impact on supplies of such vaccines.
How to register for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria
The NPHCDA has announced guidelines to register for COVID-19 vaccinations.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
The guidelines were announced Monday morning in a social media post and they are as follows:
Step 1: Visit https://nphcda.gov.ng/
Step 2: Click on ” covid-19 vaccination e-registration”
- In the Registration Form for COVID-19 Vaccination you are to fill in; your full names, phone number, email address, date of birth, sex, the type of National ID you have, a residential address which states, the LGA of residence, ward of residence and preferred vaccination site.
- You are meant to also select your preferred vaccination date and time slot, which ends with a photo update.
After doing the above steps, you will receive a message saying:
“Registration Completed! …Your Vaccination ID is:
Your data is successfully received.
Thank you for taking time to fill the form, you will receive an SMS and email shortly containing your Vaccination No. and other instructions.”
What you should know
- The Federal Government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
FG launches strategy for introduction of Covid-19 vaccine
The FG has launched a strategy for the phased and equitable introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine across the country.
The Federal Government has launched a strategy for the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner across the country.
The strategy code-named, “T.E.A.C.H”, was initiated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, during the inauguration said the launch of T.E.A.C.H and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) will ensure the smooth rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign across the country.
What the Minister of Health is saying
Ehanire stated, “Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner, based on the advice of the WHO and the experience we observe other countries to have made, and ultimately vaccinating all eligible Nigerians within the next two years, to ensure herd immunity.
“We in Nigeria finally have the privilege of joining other countries to start the vaccination, which will prioritise, first those people most at risk of infection due to their exposure in the line of duty.
”Vaccination with safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines is a critical part of the country’s strategy to counter the COVID-19 pandemic and the stop transmission of the virus. No private hospital or organisation has experience in handling this type of vaccine than the NPHCDA,” he said.
The minister also said that vaccines that were not approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) would be determined as dangerous and would be seized by the Nigeria Customs Services.
The minister also noted that in less than 24 hours, the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive the country from the COVAX Facility and would be deployed.
On his own part, the Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said a lot of work had been done to reduce the casualty of Covid-19 in the country’s population.
Ihekweazu, who was represented by Head of Special Projects and Partnerships at NCDC, Dr Priscilla Ibekwe said that a sister agency, the NPHCDA, was prepared to lead the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in the country and NCDC would collaborate with them to ensure a successful campaign.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, in his introduction of the T.E.A.C.H Strategy, said it was an Indigenous approach to roll out the Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
Shuaib said that the Country has provided an e-registration link to enable Nigerians to register for the Covid-19 vaccines themselves, to obtain their pre-vaccination numbers and scheduled date
He said that the first phase of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine in the country would target front-line health workers, Covid-19 rapid response teams, laboratory network, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.
According to him, How COVID-19 will be rolled out, Phase 1- healthcare workers, security agents, first responders, petrol station workers, laboratory workers, and strategic political leadership.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that the Federal Government had announced that Nigeria would receive its first batch of 4 million AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from the COVAX initiative on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
- The COVAX Facility which is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner, is a global scheme to procure and equitably distribute vaccines for free, especially among poorer countries, as the world moves to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Covid:19 WHO says wealthy countries are undermining COVAX vaccine initiative
WHO DG has said that the deal between rich countries and vaccine manufacturers is undermining its COVAX initiative.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that the deal between high-income countries and manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccine are undermining its COVAX initiative by reducing the number of doses it can purchase.
This is as he pleads with rich countries to check before ordering additional Covid-19 vaccine shots for themselves whether that undermines efforts to get vaccine shots to poorer nations.
According to a report from Al Jazeera, this was disclosed by the WHO boss after talks with German President, Walter Steinmeier
Wealthy nations have snapped up several billion vaccine doses and some countries have ordered enough shots to vaccinate their populations more than once, while some countries in the developing world have little or none.
Tedros said that these actions by the rich countries have even led to the reduction of the amount that was allocated to COVAX, although he did not mention the names of the countries involved or provide other details.
He harped on the need for the rich countries to cooperate in respecting the deals that COVAX has with the manufacturers and make sure before they seek more vaccines that their requests do not undermine those deals.
Tedros said, “But I don’t think they’re asking that question.’’
Tedros, who has earlier warned that the world faces a catastrophic moral failure if Covid-19 vaccines are not distributed fairly, said he understands the political pressures leaders in high-income countries face.
He said, “If this virus is not defeated everywhere, we cannot defeat it globally. It will have a safe haven somewhere and can strike back.’’
He added that countries left behind in vaccinating could also become breeding grounds for new variants.
He also called for the stepping up of vaccine production because with increased production, there will be more vaccines available, then there is a better volume to share.
What you should know
- The WHO has kicked against vaccine nationalism, which they said will prolong the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. A successful global vaccination campaign is considered to be key to stemming the pandemic.
- This led to the launching of the WHO-backed COVAX initiative to ensure equitable distribution of the coronavirus vaccine across the globe, especially among the poorer countries.
- European nations have given financial support to the UN-backed COVAX scheme, which aims to get vaccines to the world’s most vulnerable people and are considering sharing some of their own doses, though they have not specified when.
- On Friday, leaders of the Group of Seven industrial powers said they would accelerate global vaccine development and deployment and support “affordable and equitable access to vaccines” and treatments for COVID-19.
They cited a collective $7.5bn from the G7 to UN-backed efforts.
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