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FG receives 2m doses of J&J vaccine from EU as NCDC confirms 36 new infections

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
08 February 2022   |   4:11 am
Federal Government, yesterday, received two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine, donated by Team Europe through the COVAX facility.

Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines

Federal Government, yesterday, received two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine, donated by Team Europe through the COVAX facility.

It came as the European Union (EU) expressed readiness to help countries speed up vaccinations and develop capacity to manufacture vaccines locally.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, on Sunday, recorded 36 coronavirus infections across four states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The latest statistics released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows that the new confirmed cases have increased the country’s infection toll to 253,727.

Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who received the consignment, recalled that the Federal Government had earlier in 2021 procured 39,850,000 doses of the J&J vaccine from African Export–Import Bank.

He explained that with the donation of 1,936,050 doses by the EU, total doses of the J&J vaccine available to Nigeria is about 51 million.

He said the country currently has (in-country) 12,916,450 doses of the vaccine, noting that NPHCDA will be focusing on people in hard-to-reach locations such as riverine areas, deserts and security-compromised places because the vaccine requires only a single dose.

The NPHCDA boss observed that with the J&J vaccine, health workers will be able to do what is called ‘touch and go’ without comprising their safety.

He said: “On behalf of the Federal Government, I want to sincerely appreciate the EU for your continued partnership in development. We have no doubt about the commitment of the EU to the eradication of COVID-19 from Nigeria and the rest of the world. The onus is upon us to make rational and effective use of the vaccines.”

Earlier, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi, said, currently, Team Europe has mobilised about €38.5 billion, of which €8 billion is for the African continent.

He noted that Team Europe’s approach is about the EU and member states joining forces and pooling together resources to support partner countries in the fight against the pandemic, considering that nobody is safe until everybody is safe.

He said: “The EU is the largest contributor to the United Nations Basket Fund and will continue to support Nigeria in the weeks and months ahead. Today is a momentous day. But we know that much work remains ahead of us. The pandemic is not yet defeated. We must continue to work together, help partner countries to speed up vaccinations and to develop the capacity to manufacture vaccines locally.”

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