NIGERIA – Nigeria has approved China’s Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19, the head of the country’s primary healthcare agency said.

Nigeria has been allocated 7.7 million doses of the vaccine through the COVAX scheme aimed at providing vaccines to developing countries.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, head of Nigeria’s National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, did not say when the Sinopharm doses would arrive or be administered.

Cases are rising in Nigeria with daily new infections increasing 10-fold from levels seen in July, according to recent tallies.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with some 200 million people, has vaccinated only a small fraction of them, largely due to lack of supply. So far, some 2 million people, or 1% of the population, have received one dose of vaccine while fewer than 1 million have received two.

The rollout of vaccines, which had been halted on July 9 because supplies had run out after a first phase, resumed on August. The country will also use J&J vaccines in its immunization drive.

To date, Nigeria has recorded 187,588 cases of COVID-19 and 2,276 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to official data, although the figures could be much higher given that only 2.7 million samples have been tested.

Saudi Arabia approves Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines

The China made vaccines are gaining a lot of popularity recently. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia approved both Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines, adding to the four previously approved in the country.

The Kingdom of SAUDI Arabia has been using Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna vaccines.

The Ministry of Health said it was possible for those who had completed their vaccination program with Sinopharm or Sinovac to be accepted in the Kingdom, provided they had received a booster shot of a vaccine that was approved in the country.

It previously said that two doses of two different vaccines could be taken, according to international scientific studies that showed the safety and effectiveness of this approach in addressing the virus.

The ministry reported 353 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the overall total to 542,707. There are 4,377 active cases, of which 1,108 are critical.

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