NIGERIA: The European Union (EU) has donated two million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine to the Nigerian federal government in order to expedite the country’s vaccination process and halt the spread of CoronaVirus (COVID-19).
The donation, which came through the COVAX facility and was supported by Team Europe, was intended to assist low-income countries such as Nigeria in meeting their vaccination targets as well as in manufacturing or developing their own vaccine in their own way.
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
During the vaccine delivery, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuel Isopi, stated that Team Europe has donated eight billion doses of vaccine to African countries alone.
Isopi went on to say that the gesture is intended to help partner countries provide and support their citizens in getting vaccinated, as well as to give them access to local vaccine production to aid in the fight and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The EU is the largest contributor to the United Nations Basket Fund and will continue to support Nigeria in the weeks and months ahead. Today is a momentous day. But we know that much work remains ahead of us. The pandemic is not yet defeated. We must continue to work together, help partner countries to speed up vaccinations, and develop the capacity to manufacture vaccines locally,” Isopi added.
Receiving the donation, Dr. Faisal Shuaibu, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), thanked the EU for their kind gesture, noting that this is not the first or second time Nigeria has received J&J vaccine support. He also stated that in 2021, Nigeria received 39,850,000 doses of the J&J vaccine through Expert-Import Bank.
According to Shuaibu, the current EU donation will bring the total number of vaccines donated to Nigeria to around 51 million.
Nigeria, on the other hand, currently has 12,916,450 doses of the vaccine on hand.
“J&J vaccine will be targeted on localities that are much affected by the insurgent, riverine areas, deserts location as the vaccine required just one dose. This will ease the work of the health workers,” Shuaibu said.
Shuaibu stated that with the J&J vaccine, health workers will be able to ‘touch and go’ without jeopardizing their safety.
However, Shuaibu thanked the EU for its generous donation on behalf of the Federal Government (FG) and urged the donor to continue their support, which will go a long way toward assisting Nigeria in stopping the spread of the dreaded virus.
As a result, he assures the donor that the donation will be used wisely.
In another related development, Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has reported that Nigeria has recorded 58 new COVID-19 infections cases and zero fatality on Tuesday, February 8.
NCDC noted that the cases are cut across six states including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
NCDC has it that Lagos has 15 cases, Abuja six, Edo five, Delta state has four cases.
Others include, Kano and Rivers’s state has two cases each while Kaduna record one case.
Nigeria’s total infection cases now stand at 3,139 and have treated and discharged 230,211 persons so far. However the total number of infected cases is now 253,838, NCDC reported.
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