Joint press statement by NPHCDA, WHO and UNICEF on the arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria

Nigeria set to receive nearly 4 million doses of the COVAX vaccine

28 February 2021

28 February 2021 - Nigeria is scheduled to take delivery of 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, 2 March 2021.

The delivery will mark the first arrival of COVID-19 vaccine in the country and make Nigeria the next West African country to benefit from the COVAX Facility after Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

The arrival of the vaccine will enable the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to commence the vaccination of Nigerians in priority groups, starting with frontline healthcare workers.

“The arrival of this vaccine is the result of the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, the support of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the guidance of the Honourable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire,” said Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director/ CEO, NPHCDA.

“We are fully prepared to receive and deliver the vaccine to eligible Nigerians as we have commenced the training of health workers and ensured that cold chain facilities are ready at all levels. We have a robust cold chain system that can store all types of COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with the required temperature. We are therefore confident that we will have a very effective roll-out of the vaccine, starting with our critical healthcare workers, who are in the frontline in providing the care we all need,” Dr Shuaib added.

The delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next months by the COVAX Facility, as part of an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

The COVAX Facility is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner.

“The COVAX Facility, has worked exceptionally hard to ensure that Nigeria gets the vaccine as soon as possible so it can start its vaccination programme to the largest population in Africa,” said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative.

“Vaccines are a critical additional tool in the battle against COVID-19 – until the country achieves high coverage of the vaccination, Nigerians must continue to adhere to the public health and social measures outlined by government to suppress transmission of the virus,” said Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria.

The country plans to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of eligible Nigerians aged 18 years and above in four phases within two years.

Media contacts

Mohammad Ohitoto
NPHCDA
Tel: +234 703 888 9954
Charity Warigon
WHO Nigeria
Tel: +234 810 221 0093

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