After taking delivery of 3.92 million doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on Tuesday, India has promised Nigeria yet another 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines.
A statement by Indian High Commission in Nigeria on Tuesday, said: “India will be gifting 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria shortly, and 200,000 doses to UN peacekeepers, that includes many African military personnel.”
The statement said: “A large consignment of 3.92 million doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) arrived at the Abuja airport today (Tuesday), under the Covax scheme of GAVI.”
It said: “The Covishield vaccine is the first Covid-19 vaccine approved by NAFDAC, and it is the first lot of vaccines to reach Nigeria. It is also among the single largest consignments of vaccines shipped out of India.
“Nigeria is among the first few countries in Africa to receive the vaccine. In addition, India will be gifting 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria shortly, and 200,000 doses to UN peacekeepers, that includes many African military personnel.”
Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur said that the supply of vaccines to Nigeria is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment, made at the UNGA in September 2020, that ‘India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting Covid-19.
The High Commissioner said India-Nigeria ties are age- old, based on close friendship and mutual trust, noting that the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in Nigeria marks yet another milestone in the two nations bilateral relations.
He noted that India has been at the forefront of the global fight against the pandemic and supports a collective approach in this battle.
He said: “Guided by this philosophy, India, as the Pharmacy of the World, has supplied millions of doses of vaccines to many countries spread across the globe.”
India has supplied 36.369 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 36 countries and will be supplying to another 15 countries soon.
At a UNSC meeting on 17 February 2021, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar had reiterated India’s approach and called for ‘vaccine internationalism’. India’s commitment to deploy its capabilities for the health and well-being of the entire humanity is not limited to vaccine supply alone, and it has provided critical medicines, ventilators and PPE kits to more than 150 countries, including Nigeria, Benin and Chad.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja