Nigeria is expected to take delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 vaccine allocation on Tuesday, March 3, 2021 the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has assured.
Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who made the disclosure late Saturday night, also said the expected allocation will be four million doses.
According to him, the vaccine allocation being expected is at no financial cost to Nigeria, adding the batch courtesy of the corporate facility.
The government had earlier said that the first four million doses of the vaccines would arrive the country by the end of February and later said it might be first week in March.
Nigeria is also expecting 16 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX), a World Health Organisation (WHO)-backed programme, set-up to divide about two billion doses of vaccines across 92 low-and middle-income countries.
“Well, I can assure you that the vaccines are coming. And they are coming very quickly, barring any change in the delivery plan that has been released to us by UNICEF, like I said, barring any change, because the logistical arrangements and other things are in the hands of the UNICEF, we believe that vaccines should depart India on the 1st of March 2021 10:30pm in the night and arrive Abuja on the second Of March 2021, at about 11am in the morning. So we are making preparation for that.
“But the truth about it is that as we received the vaccines, this one is coming from the corporate facility. About 4 million doses of vaccines are coming from the corporate facility on this one tree.
“We’re supposed to have about 16 million in the first quarter from the COVAX facility, by the time they supply all the range we expect that they will supply about 84 million doses from the COVAX facility which is free of charge, and is supposed to cover about 20% of the Nigerian population.
“We also have another source of vaccines coming in from the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) facility. We expect in about 41 million of that a combination of AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson.
“Everything we are expecting from the COVAX facility, I believe it is going to be the AstraZeneca, which has a good range in terms of storage for us because it uses just plus two, two plus 8% of refrigeration. It doesn’t come with a new complication.
“We already have that cold chain available in virtually all the local governments or constituency and wards in this country. I believe we are well prepared to receive our vaccines. And I hope that they keep to this timeframe that they have given us and we are eagerly expecting vaccines,” he said.