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AstraZeneca : Nigeria Receives First Batch of 3.92 Million Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines

03/02/2021 | 12:27pm

By Obafemi Oredein

Special to Dow Jones Newswires

IBADAN, Nigeria--Nigeria received its first delivery of 3.92 million doses of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca PLC Covid-19 vaccines on Tuesday, presidential spokesman Tolu Ogunlesi said on Twitter.

Mr. Ogunlesi said the vaccines were shipped to Nigeria under the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access initiative, known as COVAX. Nigeria is the third country in West Africa to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control said the vaccine will be administered on President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo after a few vials are handed to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for analysis over a period of two days.

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency in Nigeria, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children Fund said in a joint statement that the delivery would mark the first arrival of coronavirus vaccines in the country and enable the NPHCDA to start vaccinating Nigerians in priority groups.

NPHCDA Chief Executive Faisal Shuaib said the agency has a robust cold-chain system that can store all types of Covid-19 vaccines at the required temperatures. The NPHCDA said health workers, frontline workers--including the military, police, oil-and-gas workers and border control agents--and strategic leaders will be prioritized in the first phase of vaccination.

The agency said vaccinations will start on March 5 at the National Hospital in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and secretary to the government of the federation, said Nigeria intends to vaccinate 70% of its population by 2022.

"Our intention is that in 2021, we will vaccinate at least 40% of the population, and in 2022 vaccinate another 30% of the population," he said.

Nigeria has a population of more than 200 million and as of March 1, there were 156,017 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country with 1,915 deaths, according to the NCDC.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-02-21 1226ET

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