Nigeria has finally received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility, COVAX.
This development makes Nigeria the third Africa country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
COVAX, an initiative co-led the vaccine alliance, GAVI and the World Health Organisation (WHO), aims to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines by dividing about two billion doses across 92 low and middle-income countries.
The facility promises access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population with an initial supply beginning in the first quarter of the year to immunise three per cent of their populations.
The COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport at about 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday through BOEING 777 300ER Emirate plane.
“The arrival of the Astra-Zeneca vaccines today, marks a significant milestone in the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria,” the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said while receiving the vaccines.
“For over one year, humanity has remained under the siege of a virus that has impacted on lives, livelihood, destroyed economies, governance systems, medical services, socio-economic systems.”
The delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next weeks.
The vaccines are arriving in the Africa continent one year after the index case was reported in Egypt.
Over 3.9 million cases have been reported in the region and the death toll surpassed 100,000 barely two weeks ago.
According to data from worldometers, Nigeria accounts for over 150,000 of these cases and over 1,900 deaths.