Nigeria has earmarked ₦10.6 billion to transport the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, according to the country’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Friday.
Of this amount, Kano, a Northwest state, will receive ₦685.4 million for vaccine transportation, which is the highest, followed by Lagos, a Southwest state and the epicentre of the pandemic.
Lagos State will receive ₦558.6million, while Bayelsa, a South-south state, will get ₦121 million, the lowest amount on the budget.
On Friday, Nigeria began its first phase of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out to inoculate people against the virus, starting with frontline health workers.
With the COVID-19 death toll nearing 2,000 and confirmed cases reaching over 158,000, the country received 3.9 million COVID-19 doses.
The vaccination has been divided into phases. One of the phases includes the distribution of the vaccines to states that have met the requirements of storage and facilities.
In its “Estimated Budget for States Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines” document, NPHCDA said a total of ₦12.7 billion was budgeted as cost of transportation for the vaccine (₦10.6 billion), procurement of PPE (₦1.4 billion) and AEFI kits (₦373 million).
President Buhari gets COVID-19 vaccine
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday took the COVID-19 jab on live television at the presidential villa, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, to boost people’s confidence in the vaccination drive.
Receiving the vaccine shot from Suhayb Sanusi Rafindadi, his personal physician, the President called on those who are eligible to be vaccinated to step up and get the AstraZeneca shot.
“The vaccine offers hope for a safe country free of Coronavirus,” Buhari said.
“I similarly urge all eligible Nigerians to present themselves and be vaccinated in accordance with the order of priority already mapped out, at the various authorized designated centres only.”
He dispelled conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccines and urged state governments, traditional and religious leaders, to take the lead in the mobilisation effort within their environment and spheres of influence.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also received a shot of the vaccine from Nicolas Audiferren, his personal physician at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The first shot of the vaccine was given to Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor at the National Hospital, Abuja, on Friday.
Eligible recipients of the vaccines are categorised into four groups under a national vaccination plan.
The first to be served include frontline state officials, including healthcare workers and security personnel, civil servants in the executive, legislature, and judiciary branches of government.
Those with underlying medical conditions as well as people aged 60 and above are also included in the first group.
The second group is made up of other essential service providers and the rest of the security agencies, including police and civil servants such as teachers and farmers key to the food supply chain.