Nigeria takes delivery of its first Covid-19 vaccines

A pack of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines is seen. File photo
A pack of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines is seen. File photo
Image: REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

Nigeria received its first Covid-19 vaccines on Tuesday to kick off an inoculation programme in Africa's most populous nation, delivered under the international Covax scheme.

The West African nation of 200 million people took delivery of 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Nigeria is the third West African country to receive Covax shots, after Ghana and Ivory Coast, which have both started vaccination campaigns.

Dozens of Nigerian officials, wearing yellow high-visibility jackets and face masks, met the flight delivering the vaccines on the airport tarmac in Abuja.

The government aims to start by vaccinating front-line health-care workers, the highest-priority recipients, in Abuja on March 5, followed by strategic leaders on March 8.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential task force on Covid-19, said the government expected to receive 84 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from Covax this year, enough to inoculate 20% of the population.

Covax, led by the vaccine alliance Gavi, and the World Health Organisation, with Unicef as an implementing partner, aims to deliver nearly 2 billion doses around the world by the end of 2021.

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