Nigeria Gets Nearly 4 Million AstraZeneca Vaccine Doses From India

The first batch of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India landed in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday.

About 3.94 million doses of the vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja via an Emirates flight.

Nigeria, a West African country, is the world’s third country to receive vaccines under COVAX, a global scheme to provide free vaccinations.

On Monday, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Shuaib said they will receive the vaccine on live television and assured Nigerians that all necessary safety and quality control measures have been put in place for the arrival, storage and successful administration of the first batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

He said after clearance by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), frontline health workers and support staff will be vaccinated in the first phase. Phases 2, 3 and 4 will target the elderly, those who suffer from two or more diseases, and citizens between the ages of 18 and 49, respectively.

The NAFDAC will analyze a sample of vaccines on Wednesday and Thursday, while the campaign is expected to begin on Friday.

Leaders and top government officials will get vaccinated on March 8. The country has so far recorded 156,000 COVID-19 cases with 1,915 deaths and 134,000 recoveries.