The Nigerian Government, on Tuesday, received 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine donated by the United Kingdom (UK) through the COVAX initiative; which sums up to a total of 4.6 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca delivered to Nigeria through COVAX or government agreements.
Speaking about the development, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and C.E.O of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency said, “This vaccine will be administered as second dose for those who have received their first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccine roll-out. I therefore enjoin all those who have received Astrazeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose to be assured of full protection. We assure Nigerians that the vaccines are safe, effective and can protect against Covid-19.”
“The WHO does not approve the mixing of different brands of Covid-19 vaccines, except for the guidance that has been provided recently that one can mix the Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccine. In Nigeria, we have not started that process because we do not have the Pfizer vaccines yet. Right now the guidance is that if you take Moderna as your first dose, you should take it as your second dose, and if you take Astrazeneca as your first dose, you should also take it as your second dose.”
He urged all persons from 18 years above, who are due for the second dose of the Astrazeneca to visit the vaccination sites, and encourage friends, families, and neighbours to do the same to ensure full protection from the virus.
In a related development, Barbara Nel, Country President for the African Region, AstraZeneca, said: “I was delighted to see the arrival of a further 699,760 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, today. This donation from the UK will bolster Nigeria’s vaccination programme and is wonderful news for its people.”
“Today’s arrival demonstrates the value of governments, industry and others working together to address our continent’s urgent needs to access vaccines. In this regard, AstraZeneca’s commitment to Africa remains steadfast,” Nel said.
AstraZeneca is strictly committed to the supply of vaccine broadly and equitably globally, at no profit during the pandemic period. The supply of the vaccine is estimated to have helped in saving thousands of lives and to have significantly reduced hospitalisations drastically.
So far, AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply one billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to more than 170 countries, including more than 100 million doses which have been delivered to 129 countries through COVAX which is a global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi (the Vaccines Alliance) and the World Health Organization (W.H.O) which works with governments and manufacturers to
accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.