Nigeria receives almost 2 million doses of J&J COVID vaccine from EU countries

Nigeria has received the delivery of 1,936,050 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine from the European Union.

The EU countries responsible for the donations are Finland, Greece and Slovenia and more donations are set to arrive Nigeria in the coming weeks, according to government officials.

Recall that last year, the European Union made a vaccine donation pledge to African countries through the COVAX initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure that Covid vaccines reach some of the world’s poorest people.

The EU ambassador to Nigeria, Samuela Isopi, said the doses were “part of a global donation of almost 20 million J&J doses from EU member states to Nigeria” and more would arrive in the coming weeks.

Speaking on the vaccine donations made by the EU, the Executive director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib said, “This batch of vaccines will expire in August 2023. So we have that ample time to administer before that time”.

At the moment, Nigeria currently has in the country 12,916,450 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

According to the Executive Director, in the distribution of the vaccines, some people will be prioritized over others. He said the hard-to-reach riverine, desert and security-compromised areas would initially be prioritised since the J&J vaccine only requires a single dose.

Recall that, in December, the government said that about 1 million donated vaccine doses were destroyed after they had exceeded their shelf life, thereby expiring. However, the shelf life for the newly received J&J vaccines is the longest that Nigeria has received so far.

Prior to now, the country had been accepting vaccines with short shelf lives from donor nations in an attempt to use them quickly and provide some level of protection for Nigerians due to vaccine scarcity in the past.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, in his remarks, commended the EU for their generous support while reiterating government’s commitment to protecting Nigerians and ridding the country of COVID-19.

I am confident that post-COVID era holds greater promises of economic and social recovery in Nigeria and worldwide. I therefore earnestly call all eligible Nigerians who are yet to be vaccinated to please register and get their jabs of the vaccine at any of our vaccination sites that is convenient for them”, he said.

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