The first shipments of the AU-JJ vaccine scheme arrived Nigeria as 177,600 single-shot doses were inspected by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). The vaccine delivery to Nigeria is part of the plan by the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to acquire up to 400 million covid vaccines for the continent.
The inspection was conducted at the National Strategic Cold Store by the Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who said Nigeria was one of the first in the continent to receive its vaccines, a gesture which would boost Nigeria in its fight to control the spread of the 3rd wave of the covid-19 pandemic.
What the NPHCDA said
“Nigeria took delivery of 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, being part of the 29,850,000 doses that the Federal Government of Nigeria procured through the AVAT of the AU Commission, using the facility provided by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank)
“The balance of the vaccine will subsequently be delivered in monthly tranches.
“This batch of J&J vaccine will be focused on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas, riverine areas, desert areas and security-compromised areas, the elderly and frail individuals, across the country.
“This is because the J&J vaccine is administered as a single dose vaccine, unlike the AstraZeneca and Moderna that require two doses for complete vaccination,” Shuaib said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said the vaccines are are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19. Stating that they are safe and effective and will be the game – changer.
“The J&J vaccine we have today was listed for emergency use by WHO on March 12, 2021. The vaccine has been authorized for use in Europe, the United States and other countries.
“As the only single-dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for use to date, the vaccine may be an important tool for accessing hard-to-reach populations, thus playing a key role in preventing infections and reducing deaths across Nigeria.
“Let me seize this opportunity to say that this pandemic still has a long way to run: Nigeria is experiencing a 3rd wave and we need to work together to ensure that all preventive measures put in place are maximized, to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our lives,” he said.
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Earlier this month the FG received 4 million Moderna vaccines donated by the United States government through the Covax facility.