Richard Ginika Izuora
The first four million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the global COVAX programme for poor and middle-income countries, are being expected in the country by next week, the World Health Organization, WHO has said.
Walter Kazadi Mulombo, head of WHO’s mission in Nigeria, disclosed this during a briefing by video link.
Mulombo stated that Nigeria was expecting 14 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in total.
Also, the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, has stated that the situation in Nigeria was so far much better than had been widely predicted early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ihekweazu referred to the findings of seroprevalence studies, published on Monday; which suggested that 23 per cent of Lagos state inhabitants about 4 million people may have had COVID-19 in October.
He said studies in four Nigerian states had shown that serious illness appeared to be rarer than feared; possibly in part because of the young average age of the population.
“The whole world expected the continent of Africa, and Nigeria with our social and economic realities, to basically fall apart. Getting the vaccine into Nigeria will serve the continent well; will serve the world well,” he at a briefing.
Also, Ihekweazu stated that Nigeria will explore other options to get more vaccines in.
“We will not look for bilateral deals. We will work in a multilateral way with WHO, with COVAX with the African Union (AU) to make sure that as we get vaccines into Nigeria, the same happens … across the continent,” he said.
The country plans to inoculate 40 per cent of the population this year and 30 per cent more in 2022. Nigeria has recorded less than 2000 COVID-19 related deaths so far.