Following the flag off of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in the country on Monday, the federal government has on Tuesday recieved 699,760 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the UK Government to Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib while receiving the vaccines in Abuja said it will be deployed immediately to States and would be administered as second dose to those who had earlier received only the first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccination roll out.
While appreciating the UK Government for the gesture, Dr Shuaib enjoines all those who have received AstraZeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose to be assured of full protection.
He urge all persons of 18 years and above, that are due for the second dose of AstraZeneca to visit the vaccination site and encourage friends, families, and neighbours to do same to ensure full protection from the virus.
Dr. Shuaib further assured all Nigerians, that all vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant as he says getting vaccinated is a collective responsibility as you do not only protect yourself but also your loved ones and community.
He reiterated the fact that WHO does not approve mixing of different brands of COVID-19 vaccine noting that the same vaccine must be taken for both first and second dose.
He assured that they will continue to strengthen their collaboration with all stakeholders and partners, under the guidance of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure we surpass the achievement of the first phase.
He urge Nigerians to continue to wear face mask, observe hand hygiene and physical distancing and avoid large gatherings and unnecessary travels.
Dr. Shuaib also announced that it has received communications from the COVAX facility of an additional 801,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines which are donations from the Canadian Government and would be available for delivery by the end of August.
The Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson representing the UK government, said that the vaccines delivered to Nigeria are part of the three million doses that the UK donated to 11 countries across Africa to help the fight against COVlD-19.
The shipment of UK donated doses, according to her, is part of a broader pledge to share 100 million vaccines with the rest of the world, of which 80 percent will be through COVAX.
She said, “The UK continues to play a global role in promoting an effective roll-out of the vaccine, including as one of the largest COVAX donors and through its engagement with the Nigerian-led response.
“In Nigeria, the UK has restructured its health and human development programming to support the country’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
”The UK was one of the first countries to back COVAX with £548m. We have consistently pushed for a global effort that helps every country receive the vaccine against Covid-19. I am so pleased to see Nigeria receive 699, 760 doses, donated by the UK, in their second batch of the vaccine through CO VAX.
“This is the first tranche of the 1,299, 760 doses expected to be donated by the UK through COVAX, it is only by vaccinating more people around the world that we can bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic.”