Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed that it will receive the first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India on Monday March 1 provided that there is no change of plan.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman Presidential Task Force on COVID- 19, Mr Boss Mustapha made this disclosure on Saturday.
“First batch of COVAX shipment will be arriving 11.10am Monday 01st March 2021 are 124 pkgs comprising 2,508,000 syringes and 25,100 safety boxes.
Second batch will be arriving 11.10am Tuesday March 2. with about 3,924,000 doses COVAX in 211 pkgs/7,848 cartons.
He said by the time they supply all the range of the vaccines, about 84 million doses are expected from COVAX to be supplied to cover 20 percent of the Nigerian population.
In addition, he said that the federal government also has another source from the Harvard facility, which is the African Vaccine Action Team, a combination of Oxford AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The SGF disclosed that no fewer than 41 million doses “are expected from the second source.”
He said that AstraZeneca “has a good range in terms of storage which does not come with any complications because it can be stored in +2 to +8 Degree Celsius and in cold chain facilities that are available in all local governments and wards in the country.”
He, however, cautioned the public that protection from COVID-19 requires a combination of vaccines and by strictly abiding by Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) that are in place, as well as need for personal hygiene and not congregating in a large gathering of people.
He said the country would ultimately arrive at a herd immunity by the time it gets 40 percent of the population vaccinated by 2021 and another 30 percent by 2022, which is a cumulative of 70 per cent of the population.
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja