Three companies have taken their vaccines beyond clinical test to the point of public use. The cost of vaccines as they are sold in rocket countries may be prohibitive for Africans. The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire had said in December 2020 that Nigeria will need $1.05 billion (N400 billion) to Vaccinate 70% of Nigerians but apparently only $26 million (N10 billion) was allocated for vaccines in the 2021 budget. It is good that vaccines will be available eventually. The big question is whether Africa can afford it.
Indeed, just recently the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed fear that “even as vaccines bring hope to some, they become another brick in the wall of inequality between the world’s haves and have-nots.” Indeed Mr. Tedros reported that while 39 million doses have been administered in nearly 50 richer countries, only 25 have been given in one lowest income nation. Summarizing the situation he said this “the world is on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure – and the price of this failure will be paid with lives and livelihoods in the world’s poorest countries”
In all it is important to recognize that early vaccination around the world will ensure a more stable and more prosperous global economy which in turn will be a boon to Nigeria as a major oil exporting country.