FG receives 2 million doses of J&J COVID-19 vaccines from EU countries
Federal government on Monday received about 2 million doses of Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine from the European Union member States.
The delivery is part of a donation pledge by the European Union to African countries via COVAX initiative launched by the World Health Organization in 2020.
Nigeria had earlier in 2021 procured 39,850,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the AFREXIM Bank through the African Union and with today’s donation of 1,936,050 doses by the European Union, the total number of doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine available to Nigeria is about 51m doses.
Speaking to Journalists while taking the delivery on behalf of the Federal government at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) strategic coldstore situated at Airport road in Abuja, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib commended the European Union for their support and generosity in ensuring that Nigeria gets enough vaccine.
“I want to sincerely appreciate the European Union for your continued partnership in development. We have no doubt about the commitment of the European Union to the eradication of COVID-19 from Nigeria and the rest of the world. The onus is upon us to make rational and effective use of the vaccines.
“As earlier mentioned in my previous public communication, we will be focusing the J&J vaccines at the moment on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas (riverine areas, desert areas and security-compromised areas). This is because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only a single dose for full vaccination. This way our health workers will be able to do what is called a ‘touch and go’ without comprising on their safety.
“I would like to assure our partners, Nigeria is committed to a safe, equitable and effective COVID-19 vaccination program,” He added.
Dr Faisal also emphasized that the presence of different vaccine brands in the country does not imply superiority of one over another.
He said “the availability of different vaccine brands does not in any way mean that some categories of people are selected for high quality vaccines while others are targeted for low quality vaccines. All COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organization are safe and can deliver adequate protection against the disease. While choice of vaccine is left for eligible persons to make, it is important to note that no particular vaccine brand is preferable to the other”.
The NPHCDA boss also disclosed that 15,792,392 (14.1%) eligible Nigerians have been vaccinated with the first dose.
The Executive Director reiterated that other primary health care interventions have been made available in designated COVID-19 vaccination site by the Agency for effective PHC coverage. He however urged all eligible Nigerians who are yet to be vaccinated to avail themselves of the current opportunities to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.
Ambassador of the European Union, Samuela Isopi in her addresss said the 2 million doses of Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine were donated by Finland, Greece and Slovenia.
She said “Today’s donation brings us collectively closer to reaching the milestone of 500 million doses delivered by COVAX with 300 million donated by Team Europe, an achievement which is worth celebrating today.
“The European Union is so far the biggest donor of COVID-19 vaccines in the world. To date, Team Europe has mobilised atleast EUR 38.5 billion of which €8 billion is for the African continent.
“The EU is steeping up its effort to support Africa, where vaccination is lower than other parts of the world.
“Today’s donation signifies the continuation of a commitment of European Union and its member states to support Nigeria’s fight against COVID-19”.
The EU Ambassador added that other important donations will follow in the coming weeks.
She however stressed the need for continuous partnership with countries to speed up vaccinations and develop capacity to manufacture vaccines locally.
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