From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, has expressed delight that Nigeria will get millions of free doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
Laing made the expression while reacting to the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.
Laing, in a statement made available to Daily Sun in Abuja by the Senior Press and Public Affairs Officer, British High Commission, Abuja, Christopher Olaoluwa Ogunmodede, said: “This news on the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine roll out brings us one step closer to delivering vaccines to millions of Nigerians. I am pleased that Nigeria will get millions of these free doses by the end of 2021. The UK is playing a global role in promoting an effective roll out, including as one of the largest COVAX donors and through our engagement with the Nigerian-led response.”
Recall that on February 3, 2021, Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, announced the first set of countries which will be allocated COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, with Nigeria as one and expected to receive 16 million free doses in the first half of 2021.
The British High Commission added that as one of the 92 ODA-eligible countries participating to the COVAX AMC initiative, Nigeria will benefit from the arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20 percent of its population.
It added that the United Kingdom was playing a supportive role in ensuring an effective and equitable introduction of COVID-19 vaccines.
“The UK mission in Nigeria has been supporting the COVID-19 response in Nigeria since the start of the pandemic. In 2020, the UK adapted its health and human development programming in Nigeria to support the COVID-19 response, and we continue to respond to the epidemic across all pillars of the Nigerian government’s incident action plans, both through Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) Lafiya health programme in selected states across Nigeria. This has included short-term technical support by public health experts, initiatives to increase testing and to strengthen the country’s laboratory and sequencing capacity, as well as providing longer-term technical assistance to relevant health authorities and agencies, both at federal and state level,” the British High Commission said.