Minister of health, Osagie Ehanire has stated that the federal government wants to get the actual price of COVID-19 vaccine before submitting a supplementary budget to the national assembly.
Recall that the health minister, Ehanire in December had said the federal government will need about N400 billion to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigeria’s estimated 200 million population at $8 per person.
He added that N156 billion will be needed in 2021 while N200 billion will be used for vaccination in 2022.
But speaking during a press briefing organised by the presidential communications team in Abuja on Thursday, Ehanire said the actual price for the COVID-19 vaccine is still in rough stages.
“There are different prices of the vaccines, and we don’t really know exactly the one we’re getting. And we also know that the ones we’re getting from COVAX are at no cost to us. So what we’re doing is that the additional ones that we’re going to get will take care of 50 million Nigerians, COVAX will take care of 20 million, they are even offering to take care of more than that, maybe up to 30 million,” Ehanire said.
“The prices vary. Some vaccines are in the neighbourhood of $20 or $30, and others are $5 or $6. So to really make a budget, we are working on rough sketch, some money have been earmarked. But Mr. President has also announced that there will be a supplementary budget. But we want to get a clearer picture first before you actually submit a budget.
“So, we only have rough figures, and as soon as those figures are there, we can continue. We are also looking for perhaps, as I said, if we have to make the payments, we can find some money to do that. But when that budget time comes, we need some precise information.”
Nigeria had received about 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. In March, it received 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine via the United Nations-led COVAX facility. It also received another 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine donated by India in April.