Nigeria would receive 4 million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from the United States of America, according to White House officials.
The US government announced it had on Wednesday shipped nearly 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to two of the most populous African countries – Nigeria and South Africa – as the continent battles the third wave of infections.
South Africa would receive 5.66 million doses of Pfizer vaccines while 4 million doses of Moderna vaccines would go to Nigeria.
The South Africa shipment is the single largest sent by the US since it began sending vaccine shots overseas, one of the officials said. The latest shipments bring the total number of US vaccine doses sent to Africa to 16.4 million.
The urgently needed help comes amid growing concern about vaccination rates in Africa, which lag far behind those of advanced economies.
As of last week, African countries had administered just 60 million vaccine doses to a population that numbers over 1.3 billion, in part due to restrictions on shipments from vaccine-producing countries like India.
Experts worry that the highly contagious Delta variant could pose another setback if countries begin requiring booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals, a move that would slow shipments of urgently needed vaccines to developing countries.
The White House said equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines was essential to ending the pandemic.
With the latest shipment to Nigeria and South Africa, the US will exceed the 80 million vaccine doses that US President Joe Biden had pledged in May to donate to countries around the world, one of the officials said.
Biden in June also announced plans to buy and donate 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses to 92 low- and lower-middle-income countries and the African Union, but those shipments will begin next month, the official said, according to Reuters.