Barring any last-minute hitch, Nigeria’s allocation of 4 million doses of the COVAX vaccine will arrive on March 2, according to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The vaccines which are being delivered at no cost to the country are expected to arrive in Abuja on Tuesday morning, the PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, has disclosed.
“Well, 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.
“Like I said, bearing any change because the logistical arrangements and other things are in the hands of the UNICEF, we believe that vaccines should depart India on the 1st of March 2021 10:30pm in the night and arrive Abuja on the 2nd of March 2021, at11am; So we are making preparation for that.
“But the truth about it is that as we receive the vaccines, this one is coming from the corporate facility. About 4 million doses of vaccines are coming from the corporate facility on this one tree.
“We are supposed to have about 16 million in the first quarter from the COVAX facility, by the time they supply all the range we expect that they will supply about 84 million doses from the COVID facility which is free of charge, and is supposed to cover about 20% of the Nigerian population.
“We also have another source of vaccines coming in from the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) facility. We expect in about 41 million of that a combination of AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson.
“Everything we are expecting from the COVAX facility, I believe is going to be the AstraZeneca which has a good range in terms of storage for us because it uses just plus two, two plus 8% of refrigeration. It doesn’t come with a new complication.
“We already have that cold chain available in virtually all the local governments or constituency and wards in this country. I believe we are well prepared to receive our vaccines.
” I hope that they keep to this timeframe that they have given us and we are eagerly expecting vaccines,” Mustapha told newsmen.
He warned: “The vaccine is not an excuse to jettison the non-pharmaceutical interventions put in place by the PTF.
“But I must caution Nigerians that it is going to be a combination of vaccines with the non-pharmaceutical measures and the non-pharmaceutical measures will remain in place.
“Also, the wearing of masks the keeping of social distancing, the need for personal hygiene ”
The SGF urged Nigerians to continue to take personal responsibility by avoiding congregating in public places and also avoid unnecessary travels.