Bottles of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine await transfer into syringes for administering on April 23, 2021. JORGE GUERRERO / AFP
At last, the government of Nigerian has stated that about 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is expected in the country next month or latest first week of June.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib disclosed this at the weekly media briefing of the COVID-19 Presidential Steering Committee in Abuja. He said the government signed off to receive the vaccines through the African Union (AU), while vaccine deliveries through the COVAX facility were expected by the end of May or early June.
The NPHCDA boss noted that by then, Nigeria would have completed the process of administering the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those who got the first dose.
He revealed that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has continued discussions with manufacturers to examine their vaccines, in anticipation of emergency use listing from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Shuaib explained that this was to mitigate the negative concerns about the delayed deliveries of AstraZeneca vaccines, thereby ensuring the sustained supply of vaccines for the smooth continuation of the exercise. He noted that as of April 26, a total of 1,173, 869 Nigerians, representing 58.3 per cent of the eligible persons targeted in the first phase have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The NPHCDA boss, however, decried the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demand, especially in countries where the vaccines were being produced. According to him, the government anticipates a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria, which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination exercise.