… as Nigeria prepares to take 3.92million doses
World Bank has approved three billion dollars to cover vaccination in 32 countries around the world, which includes 15 nations in Africa.
In a statement made at the G7 leaders’ summit in the United Kingdom, the World Bank’s President, David Malpass, said the multilateral finance institution is partnering with the African Union to deploy vaccines for 400 million Africans.
Malpass mentioned that the World Bank Group has committed over 125 billion dollars since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to combat the economic, health as well as social impacts of the pandemic, which is the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.
He also explained that the funding is helping more than 100 countries strengthen pandemic preparedness, protect the poor and jobs, and jump-start a climate-friendly recovery.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Government says the unpredictability of vaccine supply as a result of global shortage remains a huge challenge.
The Minister of Health, Doctor Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this last week during the weekly presidential media chat, saying the country is looking to get a donation of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Covax facility and other countries that no longer have a need for their oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.
He hopes that the donation will be gotten in August 2021 at the earliest.
Speaking further the health minister said the local production of the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet feasible owing to the high cost of conducting clinical trials that runs into millions of dollars.
Meanwhile Nigeria will receive additional 3.92million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine by earkly August,
Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this to reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, however, did not give the exact dates as to when the country would take delivery of the vaccines.
“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.
He added, “As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this.”
The NPHCDA boss noted that the agency has held town halls in the North-central and north-east regions of the country.
He stated that while efforts to ensure the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing, the Presidential Steering Committee would hold its planned meeting with stakeholders in the south-south region and the larger communities on COVID-19 vaccination on the course of the week.
Shuaib stressed that the NPHCDA was fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly its vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19, and answering the questions people have.
“We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events. We are confident that through continued awareness-raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss raised an alarm that there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in several African countries recently and called on all Nigerians to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
According to him, wearing a face-covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives and a curfew remains in place from midnight until 4am every day.
Shuaib added, “Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks.
“And the government has introduced restrictions on incoming travel from high-risk countries and quarantine requirements to keep Nigerians safe. With a virus like COVID-19, we each must do our part to keep our communities safe.”