The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, says Nigeria cannot produce COVID-19 vaccines at present because of the complex process involved.
He said this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 media briefing on Monday.
According to him, producing a vaccine requires huge investment and technologies which are not readily available in Nigeria.
He said, “There are questions around why Nigeria is not producing COVID-19 vaccines. I want to put on record that the process of producing a vaccine is very complex and complicated. It requires massive investment that has not been done for many decades.
“In the 1960s, we use to make yellow fever vaccines in this country. In the 90s, we decided to change analogue ways of making yellow fever vaccines to more recent technologies.
“However, that transfer of technology never happened and that is why we did not continue to make vaccines.”
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had last Thursday said one of Nigeria’s main priorities now was getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said this was a matter of utmost concern to the present regime.
The Vice President said, “The priorities of Nigeria in the post-COVID-19 era include improved healthcare and the economy.
“First, we need to keep the virus under control. While our guards are still firmly in place, getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a matter of utmost concern.
“On this, we are encouraged by the efforts of WHO and other international agencies working to ensure that vaccine delivery will be equitable across all countries, regardless of the priority of orders and ability to pay.”