Abuja – The federal government yesterday received an additional 592,880 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine donated by the UK through the COVAX facility.
This brings the total number of COVID-19 vaccine doses donated to Nigeria from the UK via COVAX to 1,292,640 doses in August alone, according to a statement from the UK.
These vaccines shipped to Nigeria are part of over five million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that the UK has donated through COVAX, the program aimed at ensuring equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
This latest batch was part of the 9 million COVID-19 vaccines the UK has donated globally since late July 2021. Recipient countries include Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
The statement said: “These UK donated cans are part of a broader pledge to share 100 million vaccines with the rest of the world by June 2022. 80 percent of these cans will be distributed through the COVAX facility, 30 million of which are due to be shipped by the end of 2021. “
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made that pledge, according to the statement at the UK-hosted G7 summit earlier this year.
It added that the UK had led the international response to COVID-19, including by launching efforts in 2020 to set up the COVAX Facility, which provided £ 548 million to fund vaccines for low-income countries. “To date, the COVAX facility has delivered more than 152 million doses of vaccine to over 137 countries and territories, including 83 lower-middle-income countries. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to low-income countries by early 2022. “
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The UK also invested £ 90 million to help develop the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. “Over a billion doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine have been made available worldwide for a charitable price, two-thirds of which will go to low and middle income countries.
“As one of the largest COVAX donors, the UK continues to play a global role in promoting the effective adoption of the vaccine. In Nigeria, we support a Nigeria-led response and work closely with Nigerian partners including UNICEF, the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDCDA) and the World Health Organization.
The statement quoted UK High Commissioner for Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, “The UK continues to support global efforts to help every country get the Covid-19 vaccine. I am delighted that Nigeria is receiving an additional 592,880 cans donated. ”From the UK, bringing the total to 1,292,640 cans this month. This will help Nigeria meet its urgent need for vaccines. Only by vaccinating more people around the world can we end the global coronavirus pandemic. “
Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said, “These latest shipments of UK-donated cans mean more people will benefit from life-saving vaccines, ensuring the most vulnerable everywhere are protected from the virus.”