As Nigeria today marked the one-year anniversary of the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the country via the COVAX Facility, efforts are stepping up to ensure vaccine delivery targets are met.
One year on from the first shipment, more than 65.8 million COVID-19 vaccines have been received in Nigeria through COVAX, which represents over 95 per cent of the doses shipped to Nigeria from all sources. More than 27 million doses are in the pipeline in the next few months.
A recent donation of 859,600 doses by the Government of Japan via the COVAX Facility bolstered the global effort to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and demonstrated the ongoing commitment of the global community to ensure Nigeria receives the vaccines it needs.
“Nigeria was amongst the first countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, and just recently launched the SCALES 2.0 strategy to rapidly accelerate vaccine coverage,” said Thabani Maphosa, Managing Director of Country Programmes at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“It is a welcome development that as we mark the one-year anniversary, COVAX, with support from donors, is able to supply Nigeria with the doses it needs to achieve its newly-set vaccination targets.”
“The world is not safe until everyone in Nigeria is safe. The donation of the COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, which began one year ago through the COVAX Facility, has proved to be beneficial as we have witnessed an increase in number of people protected from the severity of the virus.
This is yet another example of how the world is working together to defeat COVID-19,” said Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Representative.
“This donation will enable Nigeria to continue its strong COVID-19 vaccination programme, sustaining the exercise ongoing throughout the country. Vaccines are not the only weapon in our arsenal. Regular testing and observing the tried-and-true public health measures can keep infections from rising within communities.”
“As part of its commitment to ensure vaccine equity around the world, the Government of Japan is honored to be a part of this global vaccination effort here in Nigeria by providing 859,600 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccines,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Matsunaga Kazuyoshi.
In addition to providing vaccines, Japan is developing and deploying a cold chain system throughout UNICEF to ensure stable delivery of vaccines to vaccination sites, with the necessary temperature controls. These efforts are key to ensure that vaccines get to the people who need them.
“These vaccines will help save lives, protect livelihoods, and heal economies currently affected by the pandemic. In our interdependent world, Japan and Nigeria are united, beyond borders. We must work together to ensure we are all protected,” said Ambassador Kazuyoshi.
COVAX, which is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the World Health Organization (WHO) working in partnership with UNICEF, is collaborating with countries, including Nigeria to scale up COVID-19 vaccination efforts and achieve greater levels of coverage.
Till date, COVAX has shipped over 445 million doses to Africa, out of a total 1.2 billion vaccines shipped to 144 countries across the globe,