The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, has admitted the country may not have access to the COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available.
Ihekweazu, speaking at the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday, explained that “the market for diagnosis is stood in such a way that access is a big problem for us down here.”
The NCDC boss also made it clear that Nigeria must work with the global health community in order to get access.
Ihekweazu said: “You know the end of this outbreak will come when we get a vaccine, but getting a vaccine doesn’t mean inevitably that we will have access to it.
“We have had a vaccine to human papillomavirus for the last 10 years. But because this vaccine costs about $50 per shot, we don’t have access to it in Nigeria.
“Why don’t we have access? Because the market for diagnosis is stood in such a way that access is a big problem for us down here.
“We must fight to have more access to therapeutics, to medical countermeasures and to everything we need to fight this disease way into the future.”
There are currently almost 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria.