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FG announces date for 4m COVID-19 vaccine arrival

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Barring any last minute changes, the Federal Government has disclosed that 4 million COVID-19 vaccines would on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, be arriving the country for treatment of patients.

It added that the 4 million were part of the 60 million coronavirus vaccines expected to be received before the end of 2021 first quarter which were expected to be deployed across the country.

Confirming the arrival date, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, in an interview with journalists, said that the vaccines would be arriving the country from COVAX facility in India.

Mustapha added that the 4million drugs would be delivered to the country next Tuesday by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

He noted that the date could only be change by UNICEF when logistics hitches arise, saying, the vaccines are expected to leave India on Monday and arrive Abuja hours later where National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and other health officials would receive it.

“Our vaccines should depart India on the 1st of March, 2021 in the night and arrive Abuja on the 2nd of March, 2021 at about 11:10 a.m in the morning.

“We are supposed to have about 60 million in the first quarter (of 2021) from the COVAX facility. By the time they supply all the range, we are expecting that they will supply about 84 million doses from the COVAX facility,” adding that the vaccines are free of charge and would cover 20 percent of the country’s population.

“Everything we are expecting from the COVAX facility, I believe it is going to be the AstraZeneca which as a good range in terms of storage for us.”

The SGF, meanwhile, warned that non-pharmaceutical measures; wearing of face masks, social distancing, personal hygiene among others will remain in place.

He added that the Government hope to vaccinate about 40 percent of Nigerians in 2021 and another 30 percent by 2022.

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had earlier approved the use of AstraZeneca Vaccine in the country.

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