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By Abankula

International pharmaceutical firm, Pfizer which has announced COVID-19 supply deals with the United States and Canada, said today that Nigeria will be its priority in Africa.

Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, Mr. Subair Olayinka, gave the assurance at a virtual meeting today with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting also featured Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, along with representatives of Biotech, the international pharmaceutical firms promoting the BNT162 vaccine candidate.

Subair said that “Nigeria will be priority,” for the vaccine supply to Africa.

Although the vaccine trials are not going on in Nigeria currently he said the trials are ongoing in parts of Africa and it would be entering the third phase, having concluded the first two phases successfully.

Vice President Osinbajo said the Federal Government would examine every possible option in the development and distribution of a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease.

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He said the health and safety of Nigerian citizens is the priority of the Buhari administration in the adoption of a vaccine.

Pfizer is developing, along with Biotech, the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, the interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate “is an important conversation and it is important for us that we are prioritized-as the largest country in Africa-in the distribution of the best COVID-19 vaccine when it’s eventually ready.

“Our priority is the health of the Nigerian citizens. We continue to engage and intend to look at every possible option -from all manufacturers- of a good vaccine. We want to do the very best for our people in this regard.”

During the meeting the Vice President asked several questions about the COVID-19 vaccine candidate including how quickly Nigeria can get it once it’s ready.

Health Minister, Ehanire noted that the government would consider quality, appropriate volume and how well and quick a vaccine can be delivered to Nigeria in deciding which manufacturer to make the supply.

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