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COVAX donates 16m doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria

Author:
Chinedu Asadu

COVAX, the global alliance against COVID-19, has donated a total of 16,008,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria.

In a distribution forecast published on Wednesday, the coalition said the AstraZaneca/Oxford vaccine doses will cover the first half of 2021.

A total of 336 million doses were announced to be donated to over 120 countries.

COVAX, which is co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and GAVI Alliance, was launched in 2020 to mobilise resources for innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.

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It said delivery of the vaccines in Nigeria is estimated to begin as of late February.

Between 35 and 40 percent of the doses are expected in the first quarter of the year while the remaining are due in the second quarter.

The coalition, however, added that the donation is under indicative distribution, meaning that it only provides interim guidance to countries and may be subject to change.

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It also said the interim distribution plan was announced in anticipation of the WHO emergency use listing (EUL) yet to be granted for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The vaccine is licensed to Serum Institute of India (SII) and was donated under the advance market commitment (AMC) plan to make them available to low-income countries.

Since December 2020, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines have been rolled out in various countries amid efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

But Nigeria has largely been left out; the country has not taken delivery of any vaccine yet unlike countries like South Africa which already received one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Globally, about 104 million shots of various COIVD-19 vaccines have been administered, with roughly one in three given in the US.

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