Nigeria takes delivery of it’s first batch of COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX initiative

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Ndaman Joshua Olayinka
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The first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via an emirates airline.

Nigeria with a population of about 200 million took the delivery of about 3.9 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines. The west African country becomes the third African nation, after Ghana and Ivory coast to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-vaccine in Africa.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and Secretary General to the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, the Director General, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, and the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu among others were present at the airport to receive the vaccines.

A Twitter user shared a video of the unloading of first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Nigeria also launched on online registration portal for COVID-19 vaccinations, its primary healthcare agency said on Monday.

Osindeinde Ademilayo Abodede, a healthcare worker, was the first to register for the vaccine, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said in a Tweet on Monday. Her appointment was scheduled for March 12 in Abuja.

According to the special assistant to the President of Nigeria on Digital and News media, the vaccine rollout is in phases which he listed:

Nigeria COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Phasing:

  1. Frontline health workers & strategic leadership
  2. 50 & above (60 & above, then 50-59 – with priority of course for people with co-morbidities)
  3. 18-49 with co-morbidities
  4. Rest of eligible population (i.e. 18-49 without co-morbidities)

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will analyze a sample of vaccines on Wednesday and Thursday, while the vaccination is expected to begin on Friday. Leaders and top government officials will get vaccinated on March 8.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX scheme aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Related article: Ghana becomes first Country in the world to receive vaccines via the COVAX Facility

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