15th February, 2021
By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Task on COVID-19 on Monday said that Nigeria is set to take delivery of 1.4 million doses of vaccines donated by MTN.
Speaking at the national briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that the first part of the 1.4 million doses would be delivered by end of February, while the remaining would be delivered by end of March 2021.
Granite said: The Ministry of Health also engaged The Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT), who informed us of the free allocation of 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines, of which 500,000 doses are expected by the end of this month, courtesy of MTN donation of seven million doses to Africa.
“The balance of 900,000 doses for Nigeria is expected by the end of March 2021. Other sources of vaccines are under negotiation.”
Ehanire also revealed that another donation of 100,000 doses of vaccines from the Indian government, noting that “I received a message from His Excellency, the High Commissioner of India, giving 100,000 AstraZeneca or covishield vaccine doses, also by the Serum Institute of India, as a gift of the government of India to Nigeria.
“These gestures of goodwill and partnership are appreciated by the people of Nigeria.”
Also speaking on the Russian and Indian vaccines under the scrutiny of the National Agency For Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the minister said “some of them are nearly ready for results.
“It is important to stress that all COVID-19 vaccines carry a certain amount of risk and any vaccine not approved by the Federal Ministry of Health through its agencies cannot be used in Nigeria.
“The government will not be responsible for the safety or efficacy of vaccines given outside the framework of the government. All the needs of Nigeria have been carefully calculated by NPHCDA and it is possible to accommodate all interests in the framework.”
The minister also added that “with regards to the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, AVATT, Nigeria this morning completed her account opening.
“It was signed by two officials each, of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, at Afrexim Bank as a requirement for access to vaccines on that platform.
“It will give Nigeria access to a much larger portfolio and variety of vaccines.
“Among the vaccines are the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine and as much of the Pfizer mRNA vaccines as we can manage.
“The COVID-19 vaccine coordinating committee and NPHCDA’s strategy for vaccine delivery will advise the mix of vaccines that Nigeria will acquire.”