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Nigeria celebrates first COVID-19 vaccine shipment, others

By Chukwuma Muanya (Lagos) and Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze (Abuja)
03 March 2022   |   3:08 am
As Nigeria marks the one-year anniversary of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the country today through the COVAX facility, efforts are being made to ensure

FILES] A health worker tries to load into a syringe a Vaxzevria Astrazeneca vaccine during the vaccination of Muslim faithfuls against coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Secretariat Community Central Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja in Lagos, on November 26, 2021. – Fearing a surge in cases over Christmas travel season and wary of the emergence of new variants, Nigeria is turning to religious leaders, churches and mosques to push a mass vaccination campaign. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

Japan donates 859,600 AstraZeneca vaccines, 175 solar-refrigerators to Nigeria

As Nigeria marks the one-year anniversary of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the country today through the COVAX facility, efforts are being made to ensure that the country meets vaccine delivery targets.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), yesterday, in a statement, said the country has so far received 67,973,250 doses of COVID-19 vaccines including 2,100,000 doses out of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured by the Federal Government of Nigeria. About 65,873,240 or 96.9 per cent of the doses of the vaccines received were through the COVAX facility.

It revealed that while over 47 million doses were in the pipeline from now to the end of the year, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines were donated by GAVI and the United States, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Canada, Germany Ireland, Switzerland, India and Japan.

The NPHCDA said the most recent donation of 859,600 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 came from Japan through the COVAX facility and was handed over to the Federal Government through the NPHCDA, yesterday, March 2, 2022.

While receiving the vaccines and Solar Direct Drive Refrigerators on behalf of the Federal Government, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, commended the COVAX facility and the donors for facilitating access to COVID-19 vaccines by low and medium-income countries like Nigeria and commended the Japanese government.

Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said: “As part of its commitment to ensuring vaccine equity around the world, the Government of Japan is honored to be a part of this global vaccination effort here in Nigeria by providing 859,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

“In addition to providing vaccines, Japan is donating 175 Solar Direct Drive Refrigerators, to ensure stable delivery of vaccines to vaccination sites, with the necessary temperature controls. These efforts are key to ensure that vaccines get to the people who need them.”

WHO Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said: “The donation of the COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, which began one year ago through the COVAX facility, has proved to be beneficial, as we have witnessed an increase in number of people protected from the virus. This is yet another example of how the world is working together to defeat COVID-19.”

Managing Director of Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Thabani Maphosa, said: “Nigeria was amongst the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, and just recently launched the SCALES 2.0 strategy to rapidly accelerate vaccine coverage.