The European Union has donated two million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.
The vaccines were donated through the COVAX facility by Finland, Greece and Slovenia.
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Handing over the vaccines to the Federal Government Monday in Abuja, Samuela Isopi, Ambassador of the EU, said the donation was part of a global donation of 20 million Johnson & Johnson doses from EU member states to Nigeria.
He noted that the EU is the largest contributor to the UN Basket Fund and would continue to support Nigeria in the weeks and months ahead.
“As we head into the third year since COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic is not yet defeated. We must continue to work together, help partner countries to speed up vaccinations and to develop the capacity to manufacture vaccines locally.”
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA, said the donation by the European Union brought the total number of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses available to Nigeria to about 51 million.
“At the moment, Nigeria currently has in country 12,916,450 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines,” he said.
He said the government would be focusing the Johnson & Johnson vaccines on people in hard-to-reach areas such as riverine areas, desert areas and security-compromised areas because only a single dose is required for full vaccination.
He said Nigeria had so far vaccinated 15, 792, 392 persons with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO Nigeria Country Representative, said the vaccination of over 15 million and six million persons with the first dose and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine respectively was a feat.
He said the WHO’s goal remained for every country, including Nigeria, to fully vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-2022.
He said: “There’s no path out unless we achieve our shared target of vaccinating 70 percent of the population by the middle of this year.”