The Japanese Government through the COVAX facility on Wednesday gifted Nigeria with 859,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine and 175 Solar Direct drive Refrigerators to aid COVID-19 response.
The Executive Director , National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib received the vaccines on behalf of the Federal Government.
The Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Amb. Matsunaga Kazuyoshi, said the donation was part of the ten million doses to be donated by Japan to Africa, through COVAX.
He said that the vaccines came with Direct Drive (SDD) Refrigerators to keep them safe.
According to him, ” Increasing vaccine donation is not the goal but the goal was to get as many people vaccinated.
“These vaccines will help save lives, protect livelihoods, and heal economies currently affected by the pandemic. In our interdependent world, Japan and Nigeria are united, beyond borders. We must work together to ensure we are all protected”, he noted.
He added that there are more vaccines in the pipeline.
More so, the Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said that “In addition to providing vaccines, Japan is donating 175 Solar Direct Drive Refrigerators, to ensure stable delivery of vaccines to vaccination sites, with the necessary temperature controls. These efforts are key to ensure that vaccines get to the people who need them.”
He added that, Nigeria has so far received 67,973,250 doses of COVID-19 vaccines including 2,100,000 doses out of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines procured by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
About 96.9% (65,873,240) doses) of the vaccines received were through the COVAX Facility. While more than 47million doses are in the pipeline from now to the end of the year.
The vaccines include AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson donated by GAVI and different countries including United States, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Finland, Greece, Iceland, Spain, Italy, France, Norway, Canada, Germany Ireland, Switzerland, India, and Japan.
Also, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) commended Nigeria saying, the results of its determination has led to the vaccination of more than 200,000 people per day.
According to the UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, who was represented by the Chief of Staff of the agency, Dr. Eduardo Celede, said the donations will make a difference at the federal and state level in terms of the capacity to administer and store the vaccines.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions around the world including Nigeria. We are here today because two actors decided to act – the NPHCDA and the government of Japan. We are seeing that now we are vaccinating more than 200,000 people per day.
“We are seeing how the equipment and cold chain of the country has improved massively over the last year, and how the vaccines are delivered to the arms of the people that need them.
“NPHCDA has been remarkable over the last year and half. The donation that we are receiving today is an indication of the government of Japan to act. The donations today will make a difference at the federal and state level in terms of the capacity to administer and store the vaccines.
“More than 60 million vaccines have arrived in the country through COVAX in the last year. Also, more than 25 million doses of vaccines have been delivered to the arms of the people. With all these efforts from the government and partners, we will be able to end COVID-19 in Nigeria,” Celede.