As part of over five million doses pledged to 11 African countries, the British Government has donated a fresh batch of 592,880 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria to help the country in its fight against the deadly virus.
The British government the donation to Nigeria and other countries in Africa, was part of UK government’s broader plan to distribute 100 million vaccine doses across the world and that the additional donation to Nigeria, brought the total number of vaccine doses donated by the UK to 1,292,640.
The British High Commission in Nigeria said that the UK has pledged to share 80 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the COVAX Facility, as part of a broader pledge to share 100 million doses with the rest of the world.
According to the body, Nigeria received another 592,880 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, donated to Nigeria by the UK via the COVAX facility and this latest batch is part of the nine million COVID-19 vaccines the UK has donated around the world, since the end of July.
Through a statement on Friday, the commission listed the recipient countries to include Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
According to the high commission, 80 per cent of the 100 million vaccines pledged by the UK, will be distributed using the COVAX facility, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of 2021.
It would be recalled that the UK led the international response to COVID-19, with the provision of 548 million Pounds to fund vaccines for lower income countries. “So far, the COVAX facility has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including 83 lower-middle income countries. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries by early 2022.
“The UK also invested 90 million Pounds to support development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Over a billion doses of the vaccine has been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries,” it said.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, said that: “The UK continues to promote global efforts to help every country receive the vaccine against COVID-19.
“I am so pleased to see Nigeria receive an extra 592,880 doses donated by the UK, which brings the total this month to 1,292,640 doses. This will help Nigeria meet its urgent need for vaccines. Only by vaccinating more people around the world, can we bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Seth Berkley, said that the latest shipment meant that more people would benefit from the life-saving vaccines. Berkley thanked the UK government for its support for COVAX and its objective, to make sure the most vulnerable are protected against the virus.