From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has said that the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine received will expire on June 28 and July 9.
This is even as it said that declared that it did not take delivery of MTN vaccines donated to Nigeria.
The ED/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made the disclosure at Monday’s media briefing.
He was responding to a question on the expiry date of the vaccines.
He said: “The batches of AstraZeneca we received have expiring dates of June 28 and July 9th.”
On that of MTN vaccines he said/ “We have not taken delivery of any MTN vaccines in Nigeria.”
He also said there will be delay in the arrival of the second batch of the vaccines which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.
Shuaib said: “The vaccination against COVID-19 is currently ongoing in all States of the Federation. Our collaboration with health officials and other stakeholders at the National, State, LGA and community levels in the vaccination exercise has yielded substantial results.
“I am pleased to inform you that as at April 26th 2021, 1,173, 869 Nigerians, representing 58.3 % of the eligible persons targeted in this current phase, have received their first dose of the Astrazeneca vaccine.
“Notwithstanding the above successes, we are aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demand, especially in countries where the vaccines are being produced. We, therefore, anticipate a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign. However, in response to the anticipated delay, the Federal Government has rationalized the vaccination exercise by preserving 50% of available doses of the vaccine for administration of the second doses. Each State of the Federation, including FCT, are currently administering only 50% of their allocated doses of vaccines.
“The remaining 50% will be administered to clients who had earlier received the first dose and this would be scheduled between 8 – 12 weeks from the date of their first dose.”
He also said Nigeria has signed off to receive about 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines.
Shuaib said: “The federal government has signed off to receive up to 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines through the African Union platform,” Shuaib said.
Shuaib said the country was also expecting deliveries of vaccines through the COVAX facility by the end of May or early June.
He said “by this time, the country would have completed the process of administering the second doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines already on ground.
“Having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in early March, Nigeria commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, the NPHCDA said vaccination against COVID-19 was still ongoing in all states of the federation.
He said the country had vaccinated 1,175,285 eligible Nigerians as of April 26, 2021. This represents 58.4 per cent of people eligible to receive the vaccines.
“Our collaboration with health officials and other stakeholders at the national, state, LGA and community level in the vaccination exercise has yielded substantial result,” he said.
He noted that the country was aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands.
This he added would further affect the remaining phases for the vaccination campaign in the country.
“We are aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands especially in countries where vaccines are being produced,”
“We therefore anticipate a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.,” he explained.
The government plans to vaccinate 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.
Only eligible population from 18 years and above will be vaccinated in four phases.