FG awaits arrival of more Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines

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As the Federal Government flags off the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination on Monday, it revealed that it is expecting additional 698,880 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against the rampaging coronavirus pandemic.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this on Monday, said the new vaccines are part of the donation by the government of the United Kingdom, and that it would be targeted at those due for the 2nd doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

“In the next couple of weeks, we will be expecting up to 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to complement what we already have.

“This will also ensure that we cover not only those who will be taking their 2nd dose but also for those who will want to take their first dose of this vaccine,” he said.

Nigeria on Monday commenced the second phase vaccination of its citizens against the virus, amidst the raging third wave of the pandemic.

Speaking at the flag-off ceremony held at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the second phase would be largely prosecuted with the about 4 million doses of Moderna vaccines, which were recently donated by the government of the United States of America.

The SGF who doubles as the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), said the country received another 177,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines from the African Union (AU).

“The arrival of the 4,000,080 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the Government of the United States and the 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines out of the 29,850,000 doses the Federal Government has purchased through the Africa-Import-Export Bank and the African Union, is highly encouraging and motivating for us at the Presidential Steering Committee,” he said.

Also speaking at the flag off of the second phase vaccination, the World Health Organisation’s Country Representative in Nigeria, Walter Molumbo, said the introduction of these vaccines comes with a huge logistical preparation for the storage of the Moderna vaccines.

“Partners are very happy with the Federal Government’s huge investment in the procurement and the installation of Ultra Cold Chain equipment at the national strategic store and the state cold stores.

“This is a good sign of a committed government leadership at national and state level to have its citizens vaccinated against the disease,” he said.

Molumbo noted that the country will be able to overcome all challenges for a successful Phase 2 vaccination rollout.

He reiterated that vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19.

“These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer: but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds,” Molumbo said.

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