There are strong indications that a crisis has hit Nigeria’s moves to procure more COVID-19 vaccine doses as the budget estimates for the procurement are grossly inadequate.
It was gathered on Sunday that the budget estimates the Ministry of Health submitted to the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning were based on AstraZeneca vaccine, which is $4 per dose.
Findings, however, indicated that because of the scarcity of AstraZeneca vaccine, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis in India, Nigeria might opt for Pfizer vaccine, which is $20 per dose.
It was learnt that with the cash crunch facing the country, it might be difficult to get additional funds to purchase all the Pfizer vaccine doses needed.
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had at a meeting with the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, in March said he would submit to the National Assembly, a supplementary budget for arms purchase and COVID-19 vaccines.
But the National Assembly on Sunday told The PUNCH that it was still awaiting the supplementary budget.