Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaibu, said it was unclear when the Federal Government would receive the next batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Shuaib stated this Tuesday, May 25 at a press conference held in Abuja to inform the public about the status of the COVID-19 vaccine.
He said, “As most people here know by now, the global community is facing challenges regarding vaccine supply. Like most nations, this impacts the clarity over Nigeria’s next shipment”.
Continuing, Shuaibu said:
While we have information that we may get the next consignment of vaccines by end of July or August, this has not been officially confirmed. When we are able to, we will provide an update regarding timelines and updates of the next shipment. At present, we do not have that information available due to the wider context we are in.
The Serum Institute of India, a major supplier of the AstraZeneca vaccine, had previously declared its intention to halt production of the vaccine.
“The United States announced that it would donate 20 million vaccine doses to the COVAX facility by the end of June”.
“The International Monetary Fund is now advocating for a $50 billion fund to be spent on ensuring a faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally and is calling for at least, 40 percent of the global population to be vaccinated by the end of this year, and at least 60 percent by June 2022.”
The IMF, according to Shuaib, would be used to extend vaccine production capacity as well as COVAX vaccine coverage.
He emphasized the importance of all countries having access to COVID-19 vaccines in order to end the pandemic, as well as Pfizer and BioNTech’s commitment to offer one billion vaccine doses to low-income countries by the end of 2021 and another billion doses in 2022.
He also urged Nigerians to stick to the public health or non-pharmaceutical steps in place to stop COVID-19 from spreading.