The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) announced that the Federal Government would use the AstraZeneca vaccine based on its epidemiological assessment done by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
This was disclosed by the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, at the daily Covid-19 PTF briefing on Monday.
“As earlier communicated, Nigeria is no longer expecting the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BIONtech vaccine through the COVAX facility but has been allocated about 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Shuaib said.
“This was based on epidemiological and equity assessment done by WHO.
“These vaccines will be arriving in batches, starting by late February,” he added.
Dr. Shuaib added that the WHO exercise to distribute 320,000 vaccines to 13 countries was based on factors including mortality rate from COVID-19, numbers of new cases, populations of the countries involved and availability of appropriate cold chain equipment.
“Replacement of the initial 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine with 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is in fact a welcome development as it will enable a wider reach of our population and is a better option using our routine cold chain system,” he added.
Nairametrics reported that Nigeria was not shortlisted for the Pfizer vaccines by the WHO-led COVAX global initiative. This may be due to an allegation that the continent’s largest economy is unable to meet the standard requirement of being able to store the vaccines at the required 70 degrees Celsius.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed last week that Nigeria is expected to receive the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, which is 15 million, from AstraZeneca under the COVAX programme.
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