The Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria’s hydrocarbon industry regulatory agency, has presented an invoice of $109.45 Million to the country’s active oil and gas companies, for 1 Million vials of Astra Zeneca COVID 19 Vaccine (X 11 Doses).
The cost is calculated at the rate of $109.45/Vial (to the sum of One Hundred and Nine Million, Four Hundred and Fifty Thousand US dollars only – $109,450,000), “which is also in line with the manufacturer’s minimum order requirement at the offered price”, the agency says in a letter to the oil companies.
The DPR “has secured firm orders for the procurement of the said vaccines from Astra Zeneca’s approved Manufacturer”, it says, “following engagements with the industry on the subject”.
1 Million vials mean 11 Million doses, almost triple the 4Million doses delivered from COVAX to the country, which are currently being administered throughout the country. (COVAX is a coalition co-led by by Gavi( an international organisation created in 2000 to improve access to new and underused vaccines for children living in the world’s poorest countries) CEPI( the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
DPR has “engaged Vacipharm Limited (and Vaccidel Consortium) for the procurement of the vaccines and the provision of cold chain logistics for delivery and administration to the last mile”, the agency explains in the correspondence, sighted by Africa Oil+Gas Report. DPR explains that “Vacipharm is a leading indigenous pharmaceutical company in the procurement and distribution of cold chain pharmaceuticals in Nigeria within the past 22 years”. The agency’s move to request the industry to foot the bill for such a large number of vaccines is derived from the fact that the “Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry is the mainstay of the nation’s economy, accounting for a significant part of Government revenues and foreign exchange earnings as well as providing the necessary leverage for other sectors of the economy”, it says in the letter. Primarily, the agency explains, “it is vital to safeguard the petroleum sector from the rampaging coronavirus (COVID-19)”. And “considering the industry disposition”.
The DPR has established “about Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand (2.5Million) individuals (requiring 2 doses each) would need to be vaccinated comprising personnel of operators, service providers, contractors and allied participants who work/render services across the value chain, as well as their dependants. This number will be streamlined for phased administration of the vaccines commencing with the most vulnerable workers in ‘high-risk, high-impact’ front-line operational areas”.
Furthermore, the DPR argues, as a socially responsible industry, “the Department proposes to use this industry platform to donate vaccines to cover an additional 2.5Million individuals; based on ‘one-for-one’ approach, that is, vaccinating one member of host communities for every one individual in the industry. The industry inoculation campaign will leverage existing structures employed by industry operators to ensure seamless implementation of the Operational Area Communities COVID-19 Vaccine Support Scheme (OACCVSS)”. In all, “a total of Ten (10) Million doses of vaccines would be required for the industry and to support the communities where we operate”.