COVID-19: Nigeria to get 42 million vaccine doses from AU platform —Minister

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Friday Olokor and Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

Nigeria will soon receive over 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that will cover an estimated 45 per cent of the country’s population, the Federal Government said on Monday.

The government said Nigeria subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria vaccines free to cover 20 per cent of the population.

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said these in Abuja during the weekly press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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He said, “With regard to vaccines, Nigeria has kept abreast of global development and supports the call of WHO for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, since COVID-19 is a threat to mankind.

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“We subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the COVAX facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free of charge, to cover 20% of our population. The expected first wave of 100,000 vaccines derived from this facility.

“There has since been a change that now offers Nigeria 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of the year. The other multilateral platform is the African Union AVATT platform, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, chaired by the President of South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa.

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“AVATT has acquired 300 million doses of three types of vaccines which have been offered to African countries, based on population, such that no country is left behind.

“Nigeria subscribes to this whole-of-Africa approach, that strives to ensure that we are safe and our neighbours are safe. We shall be offered over 42 million doses by AVATT. If all the projected vaccines are supplied, we estimate we should have covered over 45 per cent of the population.”

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Ehanire said in addition to the proposed sources, Nigeria has had bilateral negotiations with Gamaleya of Russia over their Sputnik V vaccine, which they are willing to supply to Nigeria, adding that the Russian vaccine has an efficacy of 91 per cent.

“We are also in talks with the High Commissioner of India over the Covax vaccine of Barhat Institute. Both vaccines dossiers are under evaluation with NAFDAC”, the Minister said.

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