Nigeria has received nearly four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, courtesy of the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
The United Nations (UN) in Nigeria made this known in a statement issued on Tuesday (2 March).
According to the statement, Nigeria on Tuesday received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India(SII) and shipped via the COVAX Facility.
Nigeria becomes the third country in Africa, after Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccine delivered through the COVAX Facility.
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, the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers and others.
Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, reiterated the commitment of the UN to support the vaccination campaign in the country and help contain the spread of the virus.
“The arrival of these vaccines in Abuja today marks a milestone for the COVAX Facility in its unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021,” he said.
Also, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative in Nigeria, said it was heart-warming “to witness this epoch-making event.”
Similarly, Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Country Representative, emphasised the importance of vaccines, adding that the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria was critical in curbing the pandemic.
The COVAX Facility is expected to deliver around 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the African region in the first quarter of 2021 and has committed to providing up to 600 million doses to the region by the end of 2021 to cover 20 per cent of the population.
Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has launched a registration portal in preparation to kick-start the vaccination of Nigerians.
The Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) portal was created to capture the data of Nigerians in order to facilitate COVID-19 schedules, NPHCDA said on the website.
The agency said that registering on the website would make “vaccination easier and faster” for Nigerians willing to be vaccinated against the deadly virus.
Nigeria, as of Monday, recorded 360 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 156,017.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), with Monday’s figure, the total tally of infected people in the country rose to 156,017, from 155,657 reported on Sunday evening.
To date, 156,017 cases have been confirmed, 133,904 discharged cases have been discharged and 1,915 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.