FEDERAL government has announced its readiness to inaugurate an 18-man committee that will ensure security and follow up on the COVID-19 vaccine.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this in Abuja, said the ministry is putting measures in place now that the vaccines are close to being available so that the team can guarantee its security, as well as generate strategies for acquisition, deployment and options for licensed production by Biivaccine Nigeria Ltd.

He maintained that the strategy to keep the health system ready including ensuring oxygen availability at points of treatment and scaling up oxygen availability to state hospitals and PHC, have also been addressed to ensure adequate stock of recognized therapeutics like dexamethasone and injectable corticosteroid.

“Now that vaccines are known to be close at hand, the Federal Ministry of Health is taking measures towards vaccine security, for which an 18-man National COVID-19 Vaccine Task Team with seven terms of reference will be inaugurated this week,” he added.

Meanwhile, health experts have said it is imperative to find TB patients early in the course of their ailment, adding that it is advisable to engage Community-Based Organizations, CBOs, in local government areas to implement and find missing TB cases.

According to experts, these should include CSOs and NGOs who are already active in community-based development activities such as HIV infections, malaria control, primary healthcare services and others who have not yet included TB in their activities.