Maureen Eke FRCN
The Federal Government has received additional 699,760 doses of Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the UK Government.
During the Inspection of the vaccines at the National strategic store in Abuja today, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib
expressed gratitude to the government and people of the UK for the gesture.
Dr Shuaib said the additional AstraZeneca vaccine would be deployed immediately to the States to be administered as a second dose to those who had earlier received only the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination rollout.
Dr Faisal Shuaib then directed all those who have received AstraZeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose in other to have full protection against Covid 19.
The ED also announced that by the end of this month, the agency is expecting another additional 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility, donated
By the Canadian Government.
Dr Shuib explained that AstraZeneca is a vaccine that we are all familiar with while our health workers are experienced in its administration and management with its storage requirement same as most of our routine vaccines at temperatures of +20C +8oC.
The ED assured Nigerians, that all vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant.
Dr Shuaib also harped on the fact that WHO does not approve mixing of different brands of COVID-19 vaccines, which means that the same vaccine must be taken for both first and second dose.
The Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, who presented the vaccines to the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, 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 have consistently pushed for a global effort that help every country receive the vaccine against COVID-19.
She also expressed happiness to see Nigeria receive 699,760 doses, donated by the UK, in the second batch of the vaccine through COVAX,
Which is the first trench of the 1,299,760 doses expected to be donated by the UK through COVAX.
Atkinson said Only by vaccinating more people around the world can we bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic.
She also said that the UK has donated approximately five million doses to COVAX to be sent to African countries and three million of those doses are sent to Africa.
Atkinson added that donating through COVAX helps to increase vaccine coverage, ensure that no dose goes to waste and helps to bring to an end the acute phase of the pandemic.
The country representative of the World Health Organization, Dr. Walter Mulombo, who witnessed the receipt of the vaccine commended the UK government for the donation.
He noted that WHO is happy that the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in Nigeria is growing and opening prospects to cover the eligible population towards achieving herd immunity.
Dr Mulombo said the contribution today of over six hundred and ninety-nine thousand doses of AstraZeneca vaccine by the UK government is really a big relief for them knowing that there are Nigerians who got the first and were waiting for the second shot.
He urged Nigerians to willingly receive the vaccine as it is certified safe.