As a gift from the French government, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that Nigeria was one of the first African countries to get vaccines from the French government while collecting the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja on Friday.
It is heartening to notice that France has not only been a solid development partner for Nigeria, but has also been extremely fraternal in all directions, according to him.
France’s belief in Nigeria’s ability to be a proactive and forward-thinking partner in the worldwide struggle to halt the COVID-19 epidemic is demonstrated by AstraZeneca’s donation of nearly half a million medicines to Nigeria.
According to the NPHCDA’s director, Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have remained efficient and well-maintained.
While also stating that no logistics requirements for optimal management and utilization of all COVID-19 vaccinations accessible in the country were compromised.
The federal government, he said, had put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure vaccine monitoring and accountability.
His words ; “We track utilization of all COVID-19 vaccines in all the states of the Federation and receive daily report from our Senior Supervisors and State Immunization officers who are on the field to monitor the management and administration of the vaccines“.
Earlier in his remarks, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in addressing the pandemic through procurement of vaccines and getting them across the country.
He said that he was happy that the French government was donating over half a million doses of the vaccine and encouraged Nigerians yet to take the vaccine to do so.
“After 3 years in Nigeria, today happens to be my final assignment in Nigeria as i leave the country for France tomorrow, to begin my next assignment,” he disclosed.
The ambassador noted that the French board was fully opened to Nigerians that were vaccinated.
“If you have a proof of vaccination, that will be said you can go to France. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test, when you are in France,but with your certificate from Nigeria, you can get tested, which is required in some places around the world. So, both regulations apply to Nigerian nationals. Fresh nationals, or any other nationality, because we know wherever the progress, doesn’t make difference,” Pasquier said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Walter Mulombo said that Nigerians need to get vaccinated to meet the new target of 40% benchmark, by Dec.2021.
He also stated that the organization had also called on countries which have already achieved high coverage to swap their place in the vaccine distribution line with countries that have had less access.
He commended Nigeria on its vaccines distribution and also its technology approach in its vaccination programme, saying, other countries need to come to Nigeria to learn the act of vaccine distribution.