Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed that his administration has begun talks with significant coronavirus vaccine developers including Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca, among others in line with its commitment to commence mass vaccination of Lagosians.
He indicated that the decision to engage the services of vaccine developers, aside from the Federal Government’s emergency response, was to bolster the state’s vaccination rollout protocols being the epicentre of the deadly virus in the country.
Sanwo-Olu stated that the aim was to achieve 60 per cent vaccine rollout when the vaccination programme commences in the coming weeks, stressing that the figure would help check rate of transmission and build the resilience of the state against the ravaging virus.
Speaking yesterday during a live television programme, the governor said that the critical segments in the state’s population would be vaccinated in the projected 60 per cent rollout to achieve herd immunity against the pandemic in Lagos.
According to him, the state government did not have the plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, as the state may not have the resources to do that.
Sanwo-Olu noted that that aside the vaccine arrangement being made by the apex government for states, Lagos, which is the epicentre of COVID-19 infection, had activated plans to augment the vaccine that would be delivered to the State.
“As a sovereign, we want the federal government to take the lead in getting the vaccine. As a sub-national government, we are taking our destiny into our own hand. We have started conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers. I have made contact with Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca. Developers of Moderna have written to us and we have written back to them.
“We are making our own sub-national contacts and part of the things to come out of this effort is that, once we see what the national government is doing in terms of protocols, then we can plan for our rollout. The contacts we made with vaccine developers are at the board level.
“We don’t have to vaccinate the whole of 22 million people in Lagos. The plan is around ensuring that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks to 50 to 60 percent of our population. That’s the target we need to really meet in vaccine rollout,” he clarified.
On how Lagos would get resources to fund its vaccine programme, the governor said the bulk of the finances would be realised from the private sector donations and international grants, adding that the state government also had allocation for COVID-19 project in its 2021 budget.