As part of the effort to prevent another round of lockdown in Nigeria, the Federal Government has disclosed that additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been secured, increasing the doses expected in the country to over 50 million.
Before this, the apex government had placed an order for 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines and another 100, 000 doses expected to arrive in Nigeria next month, February.
The 41 million doses were secured as part of efforts by an African Union (AU) task team that secured an additional 400 million doses of the vaccines, increasing the number secured to 670 million doses for the continent to help countries gain equitable access to vaccines.
As gathered, the additional 41 million vaccine doses were expected to come from three major sources: Pfizer, AstraZeneca (through the Serum Institute of India), and Johnson & Johnson.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed the development on Thursday during an interview with newsmen, stressed that the date for delivery of the 41 million doses would be determined by the manufacturers.
“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”.
While arguing that the delivery timelines were not in the hands of the recipient, the minister noted that blocs like the European Union who had preordered vaccines since last year were yet to get enough supply.
Due to the financial status of most African countries, falling under the class of middle and low-income countries, the purchase of the vaccines will be financed by Afreximbank, an African Export-Import Bank.
To ensure that the opportunity does not elude the country, the minister noted that the central government was already making efforts towards making necessary payments to ensure its delivery.
According to Ehanire, Nigeria is mobilising resources towards that. We have some funds ready for the purpose. We will make a substantial deposit when it is time.