Twenty-four African countries, including Nigeria and Kenya, will soon receive Covid-19 vaccines from the UN-backed Covax programme.
Nigeria, which expects to get a total of six million doses from COVAX, will receive 3.92m vaccine doses on Tuesday, becoming the third West-African country to benefit from the facility.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who revealed this, at the weekend, said that barring any change in the delivery plan released by UNICEF, the vaccines will depart India on March 1, 2021 by 10.30 pm and arrive Abuja on March 2, 2021 at about 11.10 am.
He said, “We are making preparations for about 4 million doses of vaccines from the COVAX facility, We are supposed to have about 16 million in the first quarter.
“We are expecting 84 million doses from the COVAX facility which is free of charge and will cover about 20 per cent of the Nigerian population.
“We also have another source of vaccines from the Harvard facility, which is the African Vaccine Action Team. We are expecting about 41 million doses of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
“Everything we are expecting from COVAX is AstraZeneca which has a good range in terms of storage because it uses +2 – +8 per cent of refrigeration. We already have cold chain facilities in all local governments, constituencies and wards in the country.
“I must caution Nigerians that it is going to be a combination of vaccines with non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Non-pharmaceutical measures will remain in place, wearing of masks, keeping of social distancing, the need for personal hygiene and taking responsibility to ensure that we do not congregate in large gatherings and avoid travels that are not necessary. ”
Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Health, Mutahi Kagwe, said the country will get 1.25 million doses of the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine on Tuesday and vaccinations are expected to start immediately.
Kagwe said priority will be given to front line health workers and the elderly.
Ivory Coast on Monday became the first country to roll out vaccines offered by Covax programme.