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Nigeria to receive 4 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday

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Vaccine

Nigeria will be taking delivery of 3.92 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday 2 March, 2021 from the COVAX facility.

According to the CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib the 4 million doses is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next months by the COVAX facility.

The COVAX facility for poor and middle-income countries is co-led by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and the World Health Organisation, WHO with UNICEF as an implementing partner.

Nigeria has reported fewer than 1,900 Covid-19 deaths so far, much better than had been widely predicted early in the pandemic and the country plans to vaccinate 40% of the over 200 million population this year and 30% more in 2022.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said the country expects to receive vaccine donations that will cover one-fifth of its population and then procure an additional 50% of its requirement to achieve herd immunity.

She also said that Nigeria will draw up a supplementary budget in March to cover the cost of Covid-19 vaccinations, for which no provision was made in the 2021 finance bill adopted in December.

In a joint press statement announcing the expected arrival of the Covid19 vaccine, the NPHCDA, WHO and UNICEF said, “The arrival of this vaccine is the result of the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammandu Buhari, the support of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the guidance of the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire”, said Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive of the NPHCDA.

“We are fully prepared to receive and deliver the vaccine to eligible
Nigerians as we have commenced the training of health workers and
ensured that cold chain facilities are ready at all levels. We have a
robust cold chain system that can store all types of COVID-19 vaccine
in accordance with the required temperature.

“We are therefore confident that we will have a very effective roll-out of the vaccine, starting with our critical healthcare workers, who are in the frontline
in providing the care we all need”, Dr Shuaib added.

“The COVAX Facility, has worked exceptionally hard to ensure that
Nigeria gets the vaccine as soon as possible so it can start its
vaccination programme to the largest population in Africa,” said Peter
Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative.

“Vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19. In the
meantime, Nigerians must continue to take steps to contain the virus,
as the vaccination programme will take at least a year before it is fully
effective,” said Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in
Nigeria.

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