National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has taken delivery of 699,760 doses of oxford AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the United Kingdom government.
Similarly, it said that communications has been received from the COVAX facility of an additional 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Canadian Government which, expectedly, would be available for delivery by the end of August.
The new consignments are an addition to thousands of doses of Moderna and, Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines procured for the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination that was flagged off in Abuja, on Monday.
Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said, on Tuesday, at the National Strategic Cold Store, in Abuja, that Nigeria was among the 11 African countries that received vaccines from the UK government.
Dr. Shuaib, said the vaccines would be deployed immediately to the States, and would be administered as second dose to those who had earlier received the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination roll out.
He commended the UK government and noted that the vaccines were particularly important in meeting urgent needs and protecting vulnerable populations in the country as the delta variant spread.
He said: “I am glad to inform you that last night, we received 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the UK Government. We are most grateful to the government and people of the UK for this gesture.”
NPHCDA boss enjoined all those who had received AstraZeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination point to receive the second dose to be assured of full protection.
Shuaib noted that AstraZeneca is a vaccine that Nigerians were all familiar with and the health workers were experienced in its administration and management, adding that its storage requirement was the same as most of the routine vaccines at temperatures of +20C +8oC.
He assured Nigerians, that vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant.
The Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Gill Atkinson, in her remarks, said the vaccines were donated for the wellbeing of Nigerians.
She said the UK was one of the first countries to back COVAX with €548 million, and “We have consistently pushed for a global effort that help every country receive the vaccine against COVID-19.”
World Health Organization (WHO), Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said that Nigerian COVID-19 vaccines was growing and also opening prospects to cover the eligible population towards achieving herd immunity.
Mulombo commended Nigerian Government for putting so much effort in place to make COVID-19 vaccination a reality as the country continue to fight the third wave of the pandemic.