The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has sought the support of the German government to build Africa’s first vaccine manufacturing hub in Nigeria.
Ehanire stated this on Monday, in Abuja, at a meeting he held with Bright Ory, the Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria.
He said the meeting followed the threat of COVID-19 third wave that was already affecting many countries.
“If we don’t take any measure now, what is happening in others countries will happen in Nigeria. We still advise Nigerians to always observe the COVID 19 protocol.
“We need to go on vaccinating. We had received four million doses of vaccine and have vaccinated almost two million Nigerians. We are waiting the next batch which may not come until few months,’’ he said.
Ehanire added that for this reason, the country needed assistance from other countries and he held the meeting with the German envoy to specifically ask for access to vaccines and support for vaccine production in Nigeria.
The minister observed that Nigeria had a peculiar situation because of its population and that was why it was focusing on vaccine development, so as to cater for the shortage of vaccines in the country through a collaboration with Bio-vaccines Nigeria Limited.
“This is the only way we can address the issue of COVID-19, as lot of countries in Africa do not have access to the vaccines. We need to have our own manufacturing hub in Nigeria and that is what we are working towards achieving,” he said.
In her speech, Ory noted that Germany was the biggest financier of the vaccines, pledging that the government would collaborate with Nigeria on health issues, including the pandemic as its does not only affect health but also the economy.
“We are not safe until everyone is safe,” Ory said, while thanking the Federal Government for the efforts it had made in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.