Health workers and senior political leaders to receive Nigeria’s first COVID-19 vaccine doses in February

Nigeria expects to take delivery of its first coronavirus vaccine doses in February, with health workers, top government officials and vulnerable people to be given priority; Bloomberg reports.

Faisal Shuaib, head of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said this in an interview.

According to him; The vaccines, which could be as many as 100,000 doses of Pfizer Inc.’s shot, will be procured through the Covax initiative backed by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organisation and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.

The first batch — enough for a maximum of 50,000 people, will be allocated to health-care professionals working in Covid-19 isolation centers and those supporting them, as well as the country’s senior political leaders, Shuaib said.

“We are waiting for final confirmation from Covax on when the first doses will arrive,” Shuaib said, adding that the “most recent indication is they’re expected in February.” The shots were first expected to arrive in January.

Nigeria plans to vaccinate about 70% of its population in the long run and is working on other options, besides Covax, for supplies.

Nigeria has acquired three ultra-cold freezers to keep the Pfizer vaccines at the required temperature, according to Shuaib. However, in the longer term, the government plans to invest in vaccines that are easier to store, such as those created by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, he said.

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