COVID-19 vaccine: Senate warns that Nigerians risk global travel ban

The Senate has warned that travel ban could be imposed on Nigerians by other countries, if the Federal Government failed to administer COVID-19 vaccines to its citizens.

The warning was made on Thursday and contained in a motion moved at plenary by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, who said COVID-19 vaccines promised the country by Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative would not be enough.

The motion, which was adopted by the Senate, was titled, ‘urgent need for Nigeria to obtain and administer COVlD-19 vaccines to its citizens’.

Recall that the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative has promised to provide 20 percent of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement.

But in his motion, Oloriegbe lamented that apart from the pledge by the global organisation, Nigeria had not produced a plan for the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccines to Nigerians.

He, therefore, said to avoid a
global travel ban on Nigerians, the Federal Government should make budgetary provision to procure and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

The Senator also expressed concern that compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures such hand washing, wearing of face masks and social distancing had diminished.

Oloriegbe stated that while some countries had approved vaccines for COVID-19 and were administering the vaccine to their citizens, many others had completed plans on the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccines to their citizens.

He said Nigeria had no plan for the procurement, distribution and administration of the vaccine.

According to him, the only plan on COVID-19 vaccine for Nigeria is the pledge by Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative.

He said , “ This support will cover only the cost of the vaccines without taking care of logistics requirement for distribution and administration.”

He said that despite the change in the epidemiology trends of the disease, the financial plan developed by the country and World Bank in April 2020 to fund the response to the pandemic was still being implemented without taking due cognizance to the changes by re-allocating the funds to vaccine procurement.

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