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COVID-19: NPHCDA receives 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has officially received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility, as donation from the Government of France to Nigeria.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, while receiving the vaccines on Friday, in Abuja at the National Strategic Cold Store, said Nigeria was among the African countries to receive vaccines from the Government of France.

Our correspondent reports that Nigeria had commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5, 2021, having received approximately four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, an initiative aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines globally.

The country recently flagged-off the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, having received another four million doses of Moderna vaccines from the government of the United States of America.

The country also received another 177,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines from the African Union (AU).

On Aug. 17, Nigeria also took delivery of 699,760 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK government.

According to Shuaib, it is indeed gratifying to say that France has not only been a dependable development ally to Nigeria but has been quite brotherly in all ramifications.

He said that the donation of over half a million doses of AstraZeneca to Nigeria was a demonstration of France’s confidence in Nigeria’s capability, as an active and progressive partner in the global fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NPHCDA boss added that the Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have remained efficient and well maintained, adding that no standards are compromised in logistics requirements for effective management and utilisation of all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country.

He disclosed that the Federal Government had put in place the necessary measures to ensure monitoring and accountability of the vaccines.

“We track utilisation of all COVID-19 vaccines in all states of the federation and receive daily report from our Senior Supervisors and State Immunisation Officers, who are on the field to monitor the management and administration of the vaccines,” he said.

In his remarks, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Jerome Pasquier, who had successfully completed his tour of duty in the country, commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, in addressing the pandemic through procurement of vaccines and getting them across the country.

Pasquier said he was happy that the French Government was donating over half a million doses today and encouraged Nigerians yet to take the vaccine to do so.

“After three years in Nigeria, today happens to be my final assignment in Nigeria as I leave the country for France tomorrow, to begin my next assignment,” he disclosed.

The ambassador added that the French board was fully opened to Nigerians that were vaccinated.

“If you have a proof of vaccination, that will be said you can go to France. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test before boarding the plane.”

“You do not need to have a COVID-19 test when you are in France, but with your certificate from Nigeria, you can get tested, which is required in some places around the world.

“So, both regulations apply to Nigerian nationals or any other nationality, because we know wherever the progress, doesn’t make difference,” he stated.

Speaking on the WHO extension of proposed moratorium on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to enable every country to inoculate at least 40 per cent of its population, the Country Representative, Dr Walter Mulombo Kazadi, called on Nigerians to get vaccinated to meet the new target of 40 per cent benchmark by the organisation.

Kazadi noted that the organisation had also called on countries which have already achieved high coverage to swap their place in the vaccine distribution line with countries that have had less access.

He commended Nigeria on its vaccine distribution and its technology approach in its vaccination programme.

He noted that other countries would come to Nigeria to learn the act of vaccine distribution.

Aderogba George

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective.A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour.The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.

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