Barring unforeseen circumstances, Nigeria will on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 take delivery of four million doses of covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
The vaccines are expected to depart India on 1st March 2021 and arrive in Abuja at 11 am on 2nd March 2021.
“Barring any change in the delivery plans released to PTF by UNICEF,” Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha said.
“The logistics arrangements are being handled by UNICEF It will depart Indian on 1st March 2021 and arrive Abuja on 2nd March 2021 by 11 am. This is coming from the COVAX facility and we are supposed to have 16 million doses in the first quarter from the COVAX facility and we expect that they will supply all the range, they will supply 84 million doses from the COVAX facility which is free of charge and it will cover 20 per cent of the Nigerian population.”
Boss Mustapha explained that Nigeria has another source of vaccine coming from the African Vaccination Action Team through which 41 million doses of AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines are expected.
Mustapha said all the vaccines Nigeria is expecting from COVAX facility would be AstraZeneca which has a good range in terms of “storage for us because it uses +2 to +8 per cent of refrigeration.”
“We already have that cold chain available in all the local governments and wards in this country. I believe we are well prepared to receive the vaccines and I hope that they keep to this time frame they have given us, we are eagerly expecting the vaccines.
“But I need to caution Nigerians that it’s going to be a combination of vaccines with the non-pharmaceutical measures. We need to take responsibility and not congregate in large gatherings and avoid travels,” he added.
The SGF expressed optimism that by the time we get 40 per cent of the population vaccinated in 2021 and 30 per cent in 2022 which is cumulative of 70 per cent, Nigeria will be arriving at herd immunity.