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March 1, 2021

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Nigeria to receive four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in first batch

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Nigeria is set to receive four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines as the first batch of vaccines expected in the country.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, while speaking at Monday’s weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said this is part of the 16 million doses initially expected in the country.

“We have been Informed that 4 million out of the 16 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines will arrive in the first batch of supplies to the country,” Mr Shuaib said.

The Nigerian government had announced it was expecting an initial 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) by the end of February.

An additional 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines donated by telecom giant, MTN, will also be delivered to the country by the end of February, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said at its briefing last week.

Mr Ehanire said an additional 42 million doses of the same vaccine will be delivered to the country through the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT).

The government had said it aims to vaccinate approximately 109 million of its population against COVID-19 over a period of two years.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday

approved the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria. Vaccine roll-out in the country is expected to begin by the end of February.

Nigeria has so far recorded abouy 152,074 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,839 fatalities.

Uncertified vaccines

Meanwhile at the briefing, the PTF chairman, Boss Mustapha, cautioned Nigerians against patronising the black market out of desperation to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

He said the PTF is working hard to ensure access to safe and efficacious vaccines.

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“We plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market,” Mr Mustapha said.

He appealed to the public to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

“Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our different communities.”

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