The Nigerian Governor’s Forum in a communique on Thursday with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Board of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GOVI) revealed the country would receive its first batch of Covid-19 vaccines by February.
Chairman of the forum, Kayode Fayemi, revealed that there is an arrangement for the World Health Organization (WHO) “to facilitate pooled procurement and the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across developing countries. Nigeria is among 12 countries in Africa that have indicated readiness of the 92 qualified countries for the facility and will by end of February 2021 receive its first shipment of vaccines.”
Recall that the country was first expecting the first doses of the vaccines in January 2021.
According to Dr Faisal Shuaib of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the vaccines would be procured through the COVAX initiative backed by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance.
” Today, I visited the National Strategic Cold Store alongside members of the media and discussed the preparations underway to ensure Nigeria is ready for the vaccine
“We are waiting for final confirmation from Covax on when the first doses will arrive,” Shuaib said, adding that the “most recent indication is they’re expected in February.”
Shuaib said Nigeria has acquired three ultra-cold chain freezers to keep the Pfizer vaccines at the required temperature.
“However, in the longer 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,” he said.
When the vaccines arrive, health workers, top government officials and vulnerable people are to be given priority.