Baring any unforeseen circumstances, Nigeria is to take delivery of its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the pandemic and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) disclosed this in Abuja on Saturday night, saying that the country’s free
allocation of 4 million doses of the COVAX vaccine will arrive in the morning of Tuesday from India.
He said while speaking to journalists: “Well, I can assure you that the vaccines are coming. And they are coming very quickly, barring any change in the delivery plan that has been released to us by UNICEF.
“Like I said, baring any change because the logistical arrangements and other things are in the hands of the UNICEF, we believe that vaccines should depart India on the 1st of March 2021 10:30pm in the night and arrive Abuja on the second Of March 2021, at about 11am in the morning.
“So, we are making preparation for that. But the truth about it is that as we received the vaccines, this one is coming from the corporate facility.
“About 4 million doses of vaccines are coming from the corporate facility on this one tree. We’re supposed to have about 16 million in the first quarter from the COVAX facility. By the time they supply all the range, we expect that they will supply about 84 million doses from the COVID facility which is free of charge, and is supposed to cover about 20% of the Nigerian population.
“We also have another source of vaccines coming in from the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) facility. We expect about 41 million of that a combination of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
“Everything we are expecting from the COVAX facility, I believe is going to be the AstraZeneca which has a good range in terms of storage for us because it uses just plus two, two plus 8% of refrigeration. It doesn’t come with a new complication.
“We already have that cold chain available in virtually all the local governments or constituency and wards in this country. I believe we are well prepared to receive our vaccines. And I hope that they keep to this timeframe that they have given us and we are eagerly expecting vaccines.”
The SGF reiterated the need for Nigerians not to jettisoned the non-pharmaceutical interventions put in place by the PTF, saying: “But I must caution Nigerians that it is going to be a combination of vaccines with the non pharmaceutical measures and the non pharmaceutical measures will remain in place, the wearing of masks the keeping of social distancing, the need for personal hygiene and taking responsibility to ensure that we do not congregate in large gatherings and avoid travels if it is not necessary.”