By Ajuma Edwina Ameh
The Federal Government said on Monday that it has taken delivery of two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the European Union (EU).
In its determination to combat the pandemic, the government said it has also procured about 39 million doses of the J&J vaccines through AFREXIM bank.
In his remarks at the formal handover of the vaccines in Abuja, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, promised that the vaccines would be judiciously used for the health benefits of Nigerians.
He said: “With today’s donation of 1,936,050 doses by the European Union, the total number of doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines available to Nigeria is about 51 million doses.
“At the moment, Nigeria currently has in country 12,916,450 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. On behalf of the federal government of Nigeria, I want to sincerely appreciate the European Union for your continued partnership in development.
“We have no doubt about the commitment of the European Union to the eradication of COVID-19 from Nigeria and the rest of the world. The onus is upon us to make rational and effective use of the vaccines.”
The ED also announced that Nigeria had vaccinated over 15 million of its eligible population with the first dose.
The EU ambassador, Samuela Isopi, who made the presentation of the vaccines, said the donation was part of the EU’s commitment to jointly combat the pandemic.
“Today’s donation brings us collectively closer to reaching the milestone of 500 million doses delivered by COVAX, with 300 million donated by Team Europe, an achievement which is worth celebrating today. The European Union is so far the biggest donor of COVID-19 vaccines in the world.
“To date, Team Europe has mobilised at least EUR 38.5 billion, of which €8 billion for the African continent. The EU is now stepping up its effort to support Africa, where vaccination is lower than in other parts of the world.
“This will be at the centre of the discussions among Africa and Europe’s leaders at the upcoming EU-AU Summit next week in Brussels,” he said.
Persecondnews recalls that in August 2021, the federal government took delivery of 177,600 doses of J & J vaccines in Abuja.
Also, in September 2021, an additional 1,123,200 doses of the J & J vaccine were received as part of the 39,800,000 doses procured by the government.