Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire has disclosed on Thursay that the country has secured additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The date of arrival of the vaccines according to him is not known at the moment even as vaccine manufacturers struggle to meet deadlines for global deliveries.
He made this disclosure while fielding questions on a national tv broadcast yesterday on the country’s plan of Covid vaccination of her citizens. “We do not have an exact date, the date it comes out depends on when the manufacturers are able to deliver, and that is not something that any country can enforce at this time.”
The 41 million vaccine doses expected to come from three major sources: Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through the Serum Institute of India), and Johnson & Johnson, were secured as part of efforts by an African Union task team to help countries on the continent gain equitable access to vaccines.
The AU earlier on Thursday had announced that it had secured an additional 400 million doses of the vaccines for the continent.
This comes on top of an earlier announcement by the AU that it had secured 270 million vaccine doses.
Many African countries, including Nigeria, are yet to start vaccination programs even as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the continent.
Nigeria was expected to take delivery of 100,000 vaccine doses via the WHO-backed Covax sharing facility by the end of January, but the timeline has now been shifted to February, the minister confirmed on Thursday.
“The timelines are not in the hands of the recipient,” he stressed, noting that blocs like the European Union who had pre-ordered vaccines since last year were yet to get enough supply.