France donates COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria under COVAX scheme

Nigeria distributes COVID-19 vaccines
FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker holds a vial with the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the National hospital in Abuja, Nigeria, March 5, 2021. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

October 14, 2021

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria has received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from the French government through the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility, a senior health official said on Thursday.

Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the country also received 434,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine from the African Union.

Both supplies were received last week, Shuaib said, adding that more were expected through the COVAX facility and the African Union.

The COVAX facility, backed by the World Health Organization and the GAVI vaccine alliance, aims to secure billions of doses for lower-income countries by the end of 2021.

About 2.3% of Nigerians or 2.54 million people have been fully vaccinated as of Thursday, while 4.7% of the population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Shuaib said.

“With more vaccines arriving in the country, it is my fervent hope that more people will turn up … so that Nigeria can rapidly progress towards attaining herd immunity,” Shuaib said.

From Dec. 1, Nigerian civil servants will be require to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test for the disease to gain access to their offices, a presidential committee has said.

Nigeria, which has not tested widely for COVID-19, has so far recorded 208,404 confirmed infections and 2,761 deaths from the virus.

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Peter Cooney)