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U.S donates 2.5m doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria

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As part of effort to eliminate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Africa, the United States of America has announced the donation of 2.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses to Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement by the U.S Embassy on Thursday.

According to the statement, the vaccine doses arrived in Abuja this week and were received by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and taken to cold storage in preparation for distribution.

The vaccines are planned to be distributed to over 3,000 health facilities across all 36 states and FCT-Abuja. The statement added that the vaccines in the next few weeks will be available across major locations for vaccination in the country.

“Over the next several weeks, the vaccines will be available at major markets, shopping malls, event centers, motor parks, airports, places of employment, and religious institutions as part of Nigeria’s mass vaccination campaign.”

The statement added that, “the United States has donated more than 13.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with COVAX, or bilaterally to Nigeria.

“Additionally, the United States has provided more than $119 million in COVID-19 related health assistance.”

The COVID-19 related health assistance according to the U.S Embassy includes a 40-bed mobile field hospital, ventilators, and related training for 88 hospitals, personal protective equipment, technical assistance for vaccine readiness, risk communication, and demand generation for vaccines.

Others include “conducting an epidemiological COVID-19 detection and vaccine hesitancy survey, setting up electronic record systems, rapid response teams, training for over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures, and technology for virtual training.”

In addition, the United States leveraged the PEPFAR-supported National Integrated Specimen Referral Network (NiSRN) and laboratory investments to support the expansion of the NCDC (153) molecular laboratory network nationwide.

The statement explained that the United States is committed to helping end the pandemic in Nigeria and everywhere, also committed to donating more than one billion vaccine doses around the world, by early 2022.

This includes African countries primarily through the COVAX initiative.  Improving equitable distribution remains a priority for the United States to prevent the emergence of new variants that threaten populations everywhere.

Kayode Adelowokan - New York

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