(The Southern African Times) – The Nigeria government has received four million and eighty doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine donated by the US.
The vaccines were received by the West African country on Monday through the COVAX facility but had arrived in Abuja, the Nigerian capital around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday.
Its believed the vaccines were stored at the country’s National Strategic Cold Store near the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Executive director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib at a media briefing on Monday said the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had purchased 60 ultra-cold chain equipment ahead of the arrival of the vaccines.
He said that the agency has also allotted one of the equipment to each of the country’s 36 states.
According to Mr Shuaib, those who took the first dose of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccines would not take from the Moderna types just received.
“That is not the recommendation of the WHO and that is not what we are going to be doing in Nigeria. For those who have taken the first dose of AstraZeneca, we are expecting in a week or so additional consignment of Astrazeneca vaccines that we will give as second doses.”
He added that the country is expecting about 700,000 doses in the coming week and another 4.9 million doses by mid-August.
“We now have a large menu that Nigerians can choose from,” he said.
US President Joe Biden had in May, pledged to share 80 million vaccines produced in the country with countries around the world especially Africa to protect the most vulnerable and stem transmission of the coronavirus.
Of the 80 million doses, Africa is expected to receive 25 million, with the first shipments to Burkina Faso, Djibouti, and Ethiopia which had already been delivered.