American philanthropist, Bill Gates, has advised the federal government against diverting its limited health fund into trying to pay a high price for COVID-19 vaccines.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gates gave the advice on Tuesday night during a virtual press conference ahead of the launch of the 2021 Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letters.
He said waiting for the GAVI vaccines would be the best thing for Nigeria, and investing proposed vaccine funds into other health-related areas would assist to deepen vaccine coverage and save lives.
Gavi is a global vaccine alliance that brings together public and private sectors, creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries.
Gavi is co-leading COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator. This involves coordinating the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of eventual COVID-19 vaccines.
NAN also reports that Mr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, had said Nigeria aimed to vaccinate 70 per cent of its population to stop transmission of COVID-19.
Shuaib said about 40 per cent of the population would be vaccinated against COVID-19 in 2021, the remaining 30 per cent before the end of 2022. (Tribune)