The Federal Government has confirmed that Nigeria will receive the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
This is according to the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha. He said this on Saturday in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
This is going to make Nigeria the third African country, that will be receiving the vaccine, after their western African neighbor ( Ivory Coast) who was second to receive it in Africa, got theirs on Friday the 26th day of February 2021
The PTF chairman who also doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), explained that the first shipment of 3,924,000 million doses of covid-19 vaccines is coming from COVAX, a World Health Organization (WHO)backed initiative set up to procure and ensure equitable distribution of vaccines for free among countries across the globe.
“I can assure you that the vaccines are coming and they are coming very quickly barring any change in the delivery plan that has been released to us by UNICEF,” the SGF said, exactly one year after the virus was reported in the West African nation.
He added: “We believe that our vaccines should depart India on the 1st of March, 2021 at 10:30 pm and arrive in Abuja on the 2nd of March by 11:10 am.”
Earlier in the month, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire had confirmed that Nigeria will be getting the COVAX vaccine in March, and explained that the Federal Government is targeting to vaccinate 70 percent of the population.
“We have been told to open an account with Afreximbank under the African Union; we have done that already successfully because we are going to pay for that part of the vaccine. The COVAX vaccine is free, at no cost to us, it is made from donations,” the minister had explained during a briefing with journalists
“We want to immunise about 60 to 70% of our population. If COVAX immunises 20, then we have about 40 to 50 to immunise within the next two years.”
This expected arrival of the vaccine is coming just one year after Nigeria confirmed its first case of the virus and is exiting the second wave of the pandemic. Since the disease came into the country, 155,417 cases of the disease have been confirmed with 133,256 discharged and 1,905 deaths recorded.