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Nigeria, others to spend $157bn on COVID-19 vaccines by 2025


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NIGERIA and other countries in the world would spend a total of $157 billion on COV1D-19 vaccines by 2025, a United States health data company IQVIA Holdings Inc (IQV.N) projected in a report released on April 29.

IQVIA provides data and analytics for the healthcare industry.

In the report, IQVIA said it expected the first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations to reach about 70 per cent of the world’s population by the end of 2022

Based on current data on the duration of the immunological effect of the vaccines, the report noted that booster shots were likely to follow initial vaccinations every two years.

Senior Vice President of IQVIA Murray Aitken, who released the report, said vaccine spending was expected to be highest in 2021 at $54 billion but would eventually decrease to $11 billion in 2025.

Aitken said increased competition and vaccine volumes would drive down the price of vaccines.

Noting that the “meteoric growth in sales for a new class of drugs was unmatched” in the case of the COVID-19 vaccines, Aitken observed that the situation was reminiscent of the $130 billion spent on the new Hepatitis C drugs between 2014 to 2020.

The report added that the spending forecast for COVID-19 vaccines represented two per cent of the roughly $7 trillion forecast for all prescription medicines by 2025.

The report further noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had caused major disruptions to doctor visits, procedures and medicine use, leading to a decline in medical spending.

IQVIA further projected that, excluding the cost of COVID-19 vaccines, overall spending on drugs would decline by $68 billion over the six years from 2020 to 2025 than what it would have been without the pandemic.

Aitken, however, stressed that the $157 billion projected total global spending on COVID-19 vaccines by 2025 was in the interest of humanity.

“While COVID-19 vaccines will cost $157 billion over the next five years, that is a very small price to pay relative to the human cost of the pandemic,” he said.

The Nigerian government commenced administration of the COVID-19 vaccine on Nigerians after 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), arrived in the country on March 2, 2021.

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The Nigerian government acquired the vaccine through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The government intends to inoculate 40 per cent of the country’s population in 2021, and another 30 per cent in 2022.

A recent statement by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) said about 1.043 million eligible Nigerians had so far been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine.

The amount so far spent by the Nigerian government on COVID-19 vaccines is unclear – the cost of buying and distributing vaccines was not included in the N13.6 trillion ($35.70 billion) 2021 budget.

However, Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed had, in February, said Nigeria would draw up a supplementary budget to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations.

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