Monday, March 1, 2021

Nigeria to take delivery of 3.92 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday

Nigeria expects to take delivery of 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, the third West African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast, the government’s coronavirus task force said on Sunday.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with some 200 million people, has reported fewer than 1,900 COVID-19 deaths so far, much better than had been widely predicted early in the pandemic.

Last week, Nigerian drug regulator approved the Astrazeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine use in Nigeria.

The dispatch is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next months by the COVAX facility, the task force said in a tweet.

The COVAX facility for poor and middle-income countries is co-led by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and the World Health Organization, with UNICEF as an implementing partner.

Nigeria plans to inoculate 40% of the population this year and 30% more in 2022. The country expects to receive vaccine donations that will cover one-fifth of its population and then procure an additional 50% of its requirement to achieve herd immunity, the budget head has said.

Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said Nigeria will draw up a supplementary budget in March to cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations, for which no provision was made in the 2021 finance bill adopted in December. (Reporting by Felix Onuah and Alexis Akwagyiram in Lagos; writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; editing by Philippa Fletcher)


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