The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Tuesday, expressed uncertainty over the arrival of the next batch of COVID-19 in Nigeria due to the supply challenges being encountered by the global community.
This came as it was revealed that the most populous black nation had almost completed administering the first doses of Oxford AstraZeneca on 1,929,237 Nigerians, representing 96 per cent of the targeted population. Of the number, 440,000 were health workers.
Also, 4,683 persons have received the second round of the jab.
NPHCDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, told reporters in Abuja, that like most nations, “this global shortage in vaccine supply impacts the clarity over Nigeria’s next shipment. The agency has information that it may get the next consignment of vaccines by end of July or August. This has not been officially confirmed.
“When we are able to, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of the next shipment. At present, we do not have that information available due to the wider context we are in. Most people here know by now that the global community is facing great challenges regarding vaccine supply,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss added Pfizer and BioNTech pledged last Friday to provide one billion doses to low and middle income countries by the year-end and another one billion jabs in 2022, while Johnson & Johnson also promised to supply 200 million doses of its vaccine to Covax.
Shuaib said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was seeking $50 billion to expend on global vaccine rollout, even as it moved to ensure that at least of 40 per cent of the world’s population is vaccinated by the end of this year, and minimum of 60 per cent of the globe get protection by June 2022.
He added that the fund would be used to increase COVAX vaccine coverage, procure additional tests and expand vaccine production capacity.
The NPHCDA chief executive continued: “We strongly endorse the creation of such a fund, and emphasise that all nations must have comparable access to COVID-19 vaccines in order to end this pandemic.”
“Additionally, the United States announced it will donate 20 million doses by the end of June to the COVAX scheme.”
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