As the epicenter of Covid-19 infections in the country, Lagos State is aiming to achieve 60 per cent vaccine rollout when the vaccination programme commences in the coming weeks in a bid to help check rate of transmission and build the resilience of the State against the ravaging virus.
The state says it had activated plans to augment the vaccine that would be delivered to the State by the federal government and also made contact with Pfizer and other vaccine manufacturers in order to procure vaccine for its citizens with help from the private sector and international grants.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who doubles as the incident commander of COVID-19 in the state was a guest on “Sunday Politics”, a live television programme where he revealed his government’s plan on Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine rollout and the effort to bolster mass vaccination of residents in the State.
Sanwo-Olu said the State Government did not have the plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, as the State may not have the resources to do that; he said critical segments in the State population would be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the pandemic.
He said: “As a sovereign, we want the Federal Government to take the lead in getting the vaccine. As a sub-national Government, we are taking our destiny into our own hand. We have started conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers. I have made contact with Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca. Developers of Moderna have written to us and we have written back to them.
“We are making our own sub-national contacts and part of the things to come out of this effort is that, once we see what the national government is doing in terms of protocols, then we can plan for our rollout. The contacts we made with vaccine developers are at the board level.
“We don’t have to vaccinate the whole of 22 million people in Lagos. The plan is around ensuring that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks to 50 to 60 percent of our population. That’s the target we need to really meet in vaccine rollout.”
On how Lagos would get resources to fund its vaccine programme, the Governor said the bulk of the finances would be realised from the private sector donations and international grants, adding that the State Government also had allocation for COVID-19 project in its 2021 budget.
It would be recalled some weeks ago, the Federal Government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), announced that it will take delivery of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines by the end of January in the first phase of a COVAX facility.
The country also expects to receive free 42 million doses of vaccines in the second phase through the same facility.
The agency revealed that to completely eradicate the pandemic, about 70 per cent of the total population needs to receive the vaccines, adding that only about 40 per cent will be vaccinated in 2021, while the remaining 30 per cent will be covered in 2022.