The World Health Organization (WHO) has on Tuesday announced that it has authorized the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria, ahead of the delivery of the vaccine to the country. This was announced by Dr. Walter Kaza Mulombo, the WHO Country Representative during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press briefing in Abuja, saying that the Pfizer vaccine which requires to be stored in -70 degrees Celsius has been approved for Nigeria by WHO and will be made available for emergency use. Also, the government has commenced talks with the Chinese government to make the COVAX vaccine accessible with Nigeria hoping to get about 42 million doses.
Speaking on the approval of the two vaccines, Mulombo said “On the question of WHO endorsing or authorising two vaccines, what I can say this evening is that WHO has endorsed for emergency use one vaccine, which is Pfizer vaccine, which is expected first to arrive in Nigeria in a couple of weeks. There are other candidate vaccines that will come on the list and in a few days after the strategic inventory by the group of experts in WHO reviews all the evidence. So the process is for WHO to review rigorously all the evidence published and made available by the vaccine manufacturers. After reviewing that evidence, there is a set of criteria, then we can decide or not put it on the emergency list. But for now, it just one of them, but there are others that may come on the same list.”
Responding, Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the PTF said the yuletide season played a major role in the increase in new COVID-19 cases with 1,204 on Monday, making it the highest daily cases so far.
“From our analysis, we are beginning to see the effect of activities carried out during the Christmas festivities. We can only hope that numbers will not escalate beyond control. We, however, still appeal to all citizens to take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.”