Nigeria will on Tuesday, March 2, receive the first tranche of COVID-19 vaccines, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has said.
Mustapha, who is also the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, made the disclosure on Saturday in Abuja while evaluating the country's fight against the disease.
"They (vaccines) should depart India on March 1, 2021, in the night and arrive in Abuja on the 2nd of March, 2021, " he said.
Nigeria is set to receive its first four million shipments of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, a global scheme set up to procure and distribute vaccines for free, as the world races to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
COVAX, which was set up in April 2020 to help ensure a fairer distribution of coronavirus vaccines between the rich and poor nations, said it would deliver two billion doses to member-states by the end of 2021.
Nigeria's four million vaccines would be its first COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
The facility promised access to vaccines for up to 20 percent of participating countries' populations with an initial supply beginning in the first quarter of 2021 to inoculate three percent of their populations.
The Nigerian government had earlier announced that the first four million doses of the vaccines would arrive in the country by the end of February.
The SGF disclosed that the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) would be organising the shipment from Mumbai, India, with the World Health Organisation (WHO), both backers of COVAX.
Recall that the Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had on Wednesday admitted that the country may have to wait till March to receive its first doses of the vaccines.
Ghana received 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines on Wednesday, making it the first country on the continent to benefit from the COVAX programme.
Cote d`Ivoire, a country with more than 32,000 COVID-19 cases and 188 deaths, also received over 500,000 doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
It is exactly one year ago, Feb. 27, 2020, that Nigeria detected its first case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), believed to be the first reported case in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With more than 150,000 cases reported since then, the NCDC said Nigeria's response had been led by science and driven by the power of coordination, collaboration, and solidarity among federal and state governments, partners, the private sector, and the citizens.
Source: Naija News