Nigerian authorities on Tuesday received 3.2 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States in a bid to step up efforts to curb the spread of the disease in the country.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, and his technical staff among others took delivery of the vaccines presented by the U.S. Ambassador, Beth Leonard, on Tuesday at the National Strategic Warehouse in Abuja.
‘These vaccines have over six months of validity before expiration and are being stored at the National Strategic Warehouse for distribution to thousands of COVID-19 vaccination sites nationwide,’ a statement from the U.S. Mission Nigeria read.
‘During the visit, Ambassador Leonard inspected the vaccine doses and discussed how the agency is maintaining proper ultra-cold storage, as safe and effective vaccines are our best tool to ending the pandemic.
‘The latest shipment reflects the United States’ commitment to purchase and donate 1.2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses worldwide. To date, the United States has delivered more than 370 million vaccine doses to over 110 countries. This includes the over 24.7 million U.S-donated doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Nigerian people.’
According to the statement, all Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by the U.S. to Nigeria have had an expiration deadline of at least six months or more upon receipt to ensure adequate time for use.
It explained that the vaccine donations were a part of the U.S. government’s continued partnership with the Nigerian Government in combating COVID-19.
‘To date, the U.S. government has provided over $130 million of technical and financial support to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response specifically for vaccination roll out and administration, deployment of personnel to support the response, last-mile delivery and supply chain logistics, epidemiological and vaccine-related COVID-19 surveys and surveillance systems, testing capacity and molecular lab networks, personal protective equipment, and provision of rapid response teams.
‘The U.S. government has also contributed to the training of over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures and maintaining preventive health and social services. The U.S. government urges all Nigerians to go out and get vaccinated to make themselves safe and make use of the donated COVID-19 vaccines,’ the statement added.
It stated that these actions would strengthen not only the health and well-being of Nigeria but the overall worldwide response to the pandemic.
The U.S. government stressed that every individual has a vital role to play in supporting the global effort needed to stem the spread of COVID-19.
It promised to continue its partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to defeat COVID-19 and deliver life-saving vaccine doses across the country via COVAX.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK