Lagos targets 60 per cent rollout of COVID-19 vaccine

• Engages Pfizer, other vaccine developers

Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed the state government’s plan on COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the effort to achieve mass vaccination of residents in the state, disclosing that conversation had commenced with manufacturers, including started conversation with Pfizer, among others to ensure 60 per cent vaccine rollout when the vaccination programme commences in the coming weeks.

Governor Sanwo-Olu made this known while speaking on a live political programme aired a Lagos-based television station.

The governor also spoke on activities of his government since inception and other germane issues around the development of Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu said 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, however, assured that critical segments in the state population would be vaccinated to achieve immunity against the pandemic.

Aside the vaccine arrangement being made by the Federal Government for states, the governor said 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 a 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 per cent of our population. That’s the target we need to really meet in vaccine rollout,” the governor stated.

On funding of the vaccine programme, Governor Sanwo-Olu 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.

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Sanwo-Olu also spoke on how his administration had strengthened security and the plan to improve the efficiency of security architecture in Lagos, saying the administration under him would continue to push for the domestication of State Policing as a strategy to efficiently combat crime and strengthen security across the state.

He stressed the need to employ technology in intelligence gathering, noting that the state government was on the verge of rolling out 2,000 security cameras across communities through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF).

“One of the things we can do quickly is to improve the ratio of police to citizens number. That has not happened in a number of years. We believe that Lagos is under-policed, even as the human population increases. If we address this imbalance through State Policing model, we can see a turnaround in security response. We are ready to have this conversation with the Police Force whenever they are ready.

“In our Smart City project, we are installing 2,000 high-definition security cameras to boost security architecture in Lagos. We are set and before the end of the year, a lot of cameras will be up on our streets. Technology is one of the things we can use to efficiently provide security. With the data from the cameras, we can get more deterrent from troublemakers,” Sanwo-Olu said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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