Nigeria to be next African country to take delivery of 3.92 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
This vaccine update made known in a joint statement by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Sunday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the country was earlier set to receive its first four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX Facility, a global scheme to procure and distribute inoculations for free.
The COVAX Facility is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, with UNICEF as a key implementing partner.
It was launched in April 2020 to help ensure a fairer distribution of coronavirus vaccines between rich and poor nations.
COVAX said it would deliver two billion doses to its members by the end of 2021.
According to the statement signed by WHO, UNICEF and NPHCDA, the delivery of 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would mark the first arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
It would also make Nigeria the next West African country to benefit from the COVAX Facility after Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
“The arrival of the vaccine will enable the NPHCDA to commence vaccination of Nigerians in priority groups, starting with frontline healthcare workers,” the statement quoted Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive of NPHCDA, as saying.
The statement also quoted Shuaib as saying that arrival of the vaccine would be a result of the commitment of the Federal Government, support of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and guidance of the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.