Nigeria receives first shipment of J&J vaccine


THE Federal Government on Thursday took delivery of the first shipment of 177,600 of Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses from African Union.

The doses were inspected by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in Abuja.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who received the vaccine at the National Strategic Cold Store, in Abuja, said Nigeria was among the first 10 African countries to receive vaccine through the partnership.

He noted that Nigeria was one of the earliest countries to benefit from a supply deal agreed on in March, 2021 to procure 220 million doses for the continent, with the potential to order another 180 million.

Shuaib said, “The 177,600 doses would step up efforts to battle a third wave of infections across the country, noting that the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine was the first of its monthly supplies under an arrangement with AU nations.

“Nigeria took delivery of 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, being part of the 29,850,000 doses that the Federal Government of Nigeria procured through the AVAT of the AU Commission through the facility provided by African Export-Import Bank. The balance of the vaccine will subsequently be delivered in monthly tranches.

“This batch of Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be focused on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas (riverine areas, desert areas and security-compromised areas), the elderly and frail individuals.

“This is because the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered as a single dose vaccine unlike the AstraZeneca and Moderna that require two doses for complete vaccination.”

On his part, the representative of UNICEF in Nigeria, Dr Peter Hawkins, explained that vaccination was also providing better protection than natural immunity for adults previously infected with COVID-19, from getting re-infection.

He disclosed that the country is expected to receive another shipment of Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine doses by next week.

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