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Nigeria to receive 29.8m doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from AU

Nigeria’s Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday informed that the federal government has signed off to receive up to 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine through the African Union (AU).

Faisal Shuaib, executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA),  while speaking at the committee ‘s press briefing in Abuja, also said Nigeria could get up to 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson this year.

Shuaib, a member of the PSC, while speaking at the committee ‘s press briefing in Abuja, also said more deliveries of vaccines are expected through the Covax facility by the end of May or early June 2021.

“By this time, we would have completed the process of administering the second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those who got the first dose,” he said.

READ ALSO: Africa gets a boost in race for Covid vaccines

He informed that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is continuing discussions with manufacturers and examining their vaccines, in anticipation of Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization in the meantime.

“We hope that these will mitigate the negative concerns about the delayed deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccines, thereby ensuring the sustained supply of vaccines for smooth continuation of our vaccination exercise,” Shuaib said.

He also disclosed that 1,173,869 Nigerians, representing 58.3 percent of the eligible persons targeted in this current phase, have successfully received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as at April 26, 2021.

He again expressed concerns over the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demand, especially in countries where the vaccines are being produced.

According to him, Nigeria is anticipating a delay in vaccine supply which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.

In response to this, Shuaib recalled that the federal government has rationalized the vaccination exercise by preserving 50 percent of available doses of the vaccine for administration of the second doses. This means states of the federation, including FCT, are currently administering only 50 percent of their allocated doses of vaccines.

He said the remaining 50 percent will be administered to those who had earlier received the first dose and this would be scheduled between eight to 12 weeks from the date of their first dose.

During the briefing, the management of Victim Support Fund group donated 60,000 test kits to the National Response Team.

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