The UK government has donated 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nigeria through the COVAX Facility in order to combat the global spread of COIVD-19.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, who unveiled the vaccines on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, said the “vaccine will be deployed immediately to the states and would be administered as the second dose to those who had previously received only the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination rollout.”
He advised anyone who had received the first dose of AstraZeneca to go to the nearest vaccination site and get the second dose to ensure complete protection.
“AstraZeneca is a vaccine that we are all familiar with, and our health workers are experienced in its administration and management,” Dr. Faisal explained. It must be stored at temperatures of +20°C +8°C, just like the majority of our routine vaccines.”
“All vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant,” he assured Nigerians, adding that “WHO does not approve mixing of different brands of COVID-19 vaccine.” Both the first and second doses of the vaccine must be taken.”
Dr. Faisal promised that the agency would “continue to strengthen our collaboration with all stakeholders and partners, under the guidance of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health, to ensure we surpass the first phase’s achievement.”
“We have also received communications from the COVAX facility indicating the availability of an additional 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines,” he added. The Canadian government has agreed to donate these doses, which will be delivered by the end of August.
“We will continue to count on your partnership and support to get the factual message about the vaccine and vaccination across to the people,” the ED said, charging journalists as stakeholders in getting the truth about vaccines to the public.
Gill Atkinson, UK representative and Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, said the UK was one of the first countries to support COVAX, pledging 548 million pounds.
“We have consistently pushed for a global effort that helps every country receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” she says. I’m thrilled to see Nigeria receive 699,760 doses of the vaccine through COVAX, thanks to a donation from the United Kingdom. This is the first of 1,299,760 doses that the UK is expected to donate through COVAX. We can only end the global coronavirus pandemic by vaccinating more people around the world.”
She also stated that as one of the largest donors to COVAX and through its engagement with the Nigerian-led response, the UK will continue to play a global role in promoting an effective rollout of the vaccines.
Dr. Walter Kazadi Molumbo, WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, said in a goodwill message that the portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria is growing, opening the possibility of covering a larger population and achieving herd immunity for the country.
Dr. Molumbo urged those who had received their first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to seek second doses at a health facility near them.
He claimed that all of the vaccines given to Nigeria have been approved by the World Health Organization and are safe and effective, as well as preventing hospitalization and death.
Mr. Rahman Kelani, Director Vaccine Program, CHAI, thanked the UK government for the donation and urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure the vaccines’ successful rollout in the country.