NIGERIA – Nigeria has received an additional US$10.6 million from the United States (US) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) which will be used to finance COVID-19 vaccination efforts targeting 600,000 people a day.
The funds will support incorporating COVID-19 vaccinations into routine immunization and primary health care systems in an effort to contain the widespread virus.
The Nigerian federal government will also fund state level data collection and analytics, health worker training as well as expansion of vaccination access points at the community level.
Part of the funding will be used to support development goals for the Nigerian people outlined in a 2021 bilateral agreement between USAID and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning titled Development Objectives Assistance Agreement.
The extra funding increases the total US assistance to the Nigerian people to US$179 million under the five-year US$2.1 billion Development Objectives Assistance Agreement affirmed by the U. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in November 2021.
“The significant progress witnessed in Nigeria has made it easier for the agency to provide more funds aimed at improving COVID-19 vaccine delivery services,” said USAID Mission Director Anne Patterson.
She asserted that the further funding will deepen USAID’s support for all levels of the Nigerian government to meet their vaccination targets.
US donates 3.2 Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines
Nigeria has also received 3.2 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from the US under the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 vaccines global access program in support of the global efforts to eradicate the pandemic.
Nigerian authorities received the vaccine donation at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the capital Abuja acknowledging that the vaccines will help in the country’s vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
Poor vaccine uptake resulted in the Nigerian government destroying more than a million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine sent to the country in December 2021 as they had expired.
Consequently, the government has since announced that it would no longer accept vaccines with a short expiration date.
Nigeria receives 2 million doses of J&J COVID vaccine from EU
In more recent developments, Nigeria received 2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Finland, Greece and Slovenia via the COVAX initiative aimed at equity in vaccine distribution.
The vaccines which will expire in August 2023 are currently in a cold room at the airport of the Nigerian capital Abuja before the health ministry administer them to the people.
Moreover, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines only require a single dose thus will be administered in priority areas such as hard-to-reach riverine, desert and security-compromised areas .
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