Nigeria today received 699,760 doses of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca donated by the United Kingdom (UK) through the COVAX initiative. This brings the total number of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca doses delivered to Nigeria through COVAX or government agreements to over 4.6 million.
COVAX is a global initiative co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi (the Vaccines Alliance) and the World Health Organization, which works with governments and manufacturers to accelerate the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, a parastatal or Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria “This vaccine will be administered as second dose for those who have received their first dose of the vaccine during the first phase of the vaccine roll-out. I therefore enjoin all those who have received Astrazeneca as first dose to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose to be assured of full protection. We assure Nigerians that the vaccines are safe, effective and can protect against Covid-19.”
Dr. Shuaib empahisasied that “The WHO does not approve the mixing of different brands of Covid-19 vaccines, except for the guidance that has been provided recently that one can mix the Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccine. In Nigeria, we have not started that process because we do not have the Pfizer vaccines yet. Right now the guidance is that if you take Moderna as your first dose, you should take it as your second dose, and if you take Astrazeneca as your first dose, you should also take it as your second dose.”
“I therefore want to urge all persons from 18 years above, who are due for the second dose of the Astrazeneca to visit the vaccination sites, and encourage friends, families, and neighbours to do the same to ensure full protection from the virus.”
Barbara Nel, Country President for the African Region, AstraZeneca, said: “I was delighted to see the arrival of a further 699,760 doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, today. This donation from the UK will bolster Nigeria’s vaccination programme and is wonderful news for its people.”
“Today’s arrival demonstrates the value of governments, industry and others working together to address our continent’s urgent needs to access vaccines. In this regard, AstraZeneca’s commitment to Africa remains steadfast.”
AstraZeneca is committed to supplying the vaccine broadly and equitably around the world at no profit during the pandemic period. The supply of the vaccine is estimated to have helped save tens of thousands of lives and to have significantly reduced hospitalisations.
AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply one billion doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to more than 170 countries, including more than 100 million doses which have been delivered to 129 countries through COVAX.
The COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, (ChAdOx1-S [Recombinant]), formerly AZD1222, was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-out company, Vaccitech. It uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.