By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
Nigeria’s COVID-19 response has been ranked as the fourth-best in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The WHO Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, disclosed this at an event to mark the delivery of 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines aimed at tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
According to him, WHO had on many occasions, commended the government, including the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), for the successful completion of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, with the vaccination of the frontline workers and other priority groups who are at high risk of COVID-19.
“We are witnessing the symbolic arrival of 177,600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines, another landmark event in Nigeria’s response to COVID-19 pandemic; widely acclaimed by many as one of the most successful so far in the world.
“Nigeria was ranked fourth among the top ten most successful responses to COVID-19.
“Nigeria’s preparation for the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination, involving more resources and logistics, is highly commendable.
“These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer; but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds.
“J&J vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant and against severe disease, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19,” Mulombo said.
Persecondnews recalls that Nigeria had on August 12 taken delivery of 177,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines, procured from the African Union (AU), through the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) platform.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said during the inspection of the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store, Abuja, that 177,600 doses of the J&J vaccine are part of the 29,850,000 doses that the Federal Government of Nigeria procured through the facility provided by African Export-Import Bank (AFREXIMBANK).
According to Dr. Faisal, the J&J vaccine will be focused on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas; riverine areas, desert areas and security-compromised areas, the elderly and frail individuals across the country.
He said: “This is because the J&J vaccine is administered as a single dose vaccine, unlike the AstraZeneca and Moderna that require two doses for complete vaccination.
“The balance of the vaccine will be delivered over the coming months. We have the capacity to store and distribute this vaccine all the way to the point of administration as we have walk-in freezers in all 36 States plus FCT.”