ABUJA, Nigeria – The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says Nigeria is expecting the final confirmation for COVID-19 vaccine from Covax Initiative backed by Gavi Vaccine Alliance, World Health Organisation and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, NPHCDA, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja on Friday.
“We’re expecting final confirmation soon from Covax on when our first doses will arrive through the programme,” Shuaib said.
“In parallel, we’re speaking to both the African Union and manufacturers to get the doses we need.”
Shuaib also said that Nigeria was expected to take delivery of its first COVID-19 vaccine doses in February, with health workers, top government officials and vulnerable people to be given priority.
According to him, the country targeted to vaccinate 70 percent of its population in the country.
He noted that the first batch would be enough for a maximum of 50,000 people, equivalent to about 0.00025 per cent of the country’s population.
Shuaib said it would be allocated to healthcare professionals working in the coronavirus isolation centres and those supporting them, as well as government officials.
The NPHCDA boss stated that the country had also acquired three ultra-cold freezers to keep the Pfizer vaccines at the required temperature.
According to Shuaib, in the long term, the government plans to invest in vaccines that are easier to store, such as those created by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford.
Recall that Nigeria hopes to get 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one-fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
The initial vaccines would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 percent of the population this year and another 30 per cent in 2022, with 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving by the end of January.