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Nigeria proposes N296bn for purchase of Covid-19 vaccines

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(FILES) This file photo taken on February 17, 2021 shows a health worker preparing syringes with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Skane University Hospital vaccination centre in Malmo, Sweden. – Swedish health authorities said on March 16, 2021 they had suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, following the example of many other EU countries after reports of possible serious side effects. (Photo by Johan NILSSON / TT NEWS AGENCY / AFP) / Sweden OUT

Nigerian Government on Thursday said it is proposing about 296 billion naira for the purchase of coronavirus vaccines.

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“The Federal Ministry of Health has proposed the sum of 296 billion Naira for the purchase of Vaccines to cover 2021 and 2022,” the Nigerian government tweeted on Thursday.

“A supplementary budget will be sent to the National Assembly in due course,” it added.

Nigeria’s primary health care agency boss Faisal Shuaib on Wednesday told Reuters that he expects a supplementary budget would be presented to lawmakers within the next two weeks.

Nigeria, which has recorded over 2,000 deaths from COVID-19 and began vaccinations this month, plans to inoculate 40% of its people this year and another 30% in 2022.

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Nigeria hopes to receive up to 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this year through the African Union (AU).

It expects to initially receive 30 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in July through the AU.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to get up to 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson this year. This is yet to be finalised but these are some of the advanced conversations that are going on between Nigeria and the African Union,” he said during an interview in the capital, Abuja.

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Nigeria previously said it had applied for 41 million doses  through the AU, comprising of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson shots. But Shuaib said the proportion of AstraZenca doses was likely to be reduced by the delays.

“Some of the allocations that we were supposed to get for the AstraZeneca will be replaced by the Johnson and Johnson,” he said, adding that this was yet to be finalised.

Nigeria took delivery of 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in March and have since started giving the shots to eligible Nigerians.

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