COVID-19: Nigeria to receive additional 41m doses of vaccines – Official

The Nigerian government has disclosed that it is expecting 41,282,770 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of September 2021.

The expected dose is a combination of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Mr Shuaib said the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are expected through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) while the Jassen vaccines are expected from the African Union Commission.

He said; “We have received communication for the delivery of the following vaccine shipments in the coming months. 3,924,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca/Moderna by end of July or early August 2021 from the COVAX facility.

“3,930,910 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in August from the COVAX facility donated by the United States Government, 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech/Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in Q3 from the COVAX facility

“29,850,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson (Jassen) COVID-19 vaccine by the end of September will arrive in batches from the African Union Commission.”

He said the government is putting in place all necessary logistics for storage, distribution, security, and accountability for the range of vaccines expected.

“To this end, the federal government has procured 60 units of U701 ultra cold chain equipment, and as we speak, about 37 of them have been deployed to all the 36 States and FCT in preparation to receive all COVID-19 vaccines that would require an ultra-cold temperature of below 40 to 85 degrees,” he added.

Vaccination campaign

Nigeria had commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5, 2021, having received approximately four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, a UN-backed effort that promises access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population

Mr Shuaib said this has led to the successful vaccination of 3,938,945 eligible persons across 36 states and FCT, representing 98 per cent utilisation of the vaccines received from COVAX.

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is given in double doses. A person is required to come back for a second shot, some weeks after taking the first jab.

He said 2,534,205 people have been vaccinated for the first dose and 1,404,205 have received their second dose of the vaccine.

Mr Shuaib said the country recorded 14,550 cases of mild/moderate Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI), with only 148 cases considered to be severe.

“However, we did not record any case of death associated with COVID-19 vaccination,” he said.

He noted that the country has officially ended the first phase of its strategic COVID-19 vaccination plan and is now preparing to commence the second phase in the next few weeks.

Mr Shuaib said the country will make more significant utilisation of the COVID-19 vaccines that would be supplied to the country in coming weeks.

He appeals to everyone eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccines to make themselves available for vaccination on due dates.

New variant

As of July 13, Nigeria has recorded 168,713 COVID-19 cases, of which the Delta variant, described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the most transmissible, is one.

Out of these infections, 2,124 fatalities have so far been registered in the country.

Mr Shuaib said the Astrazeneca vaccines already used in Nigeria have shown to be 88 per cent effective against the Delta variant.

“The Delta variant has so far shown that it has very minimal vaccine escape properties against the AstraZeneca vaccine. So we are still in a good place,” he said.

He said with the detection of the Delta Variant of COVID-19 in the country, it is important to continue to observe non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing of facemask, social distancing and hand hygiene in order to curb the transmission of the disease.

The Delta variant has already spread to 104 countries globally, according to the WHO.

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