Nigeria expects to get 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines soon to cover one-fifth of its population in partnership with the global COVAX scheme, a senior health official has said.
Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the initial doses would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 percent of the population in 2021, and another 30 percent in 2022.
The vaccines would be acquired through the World Health Organization’s COVAX program, which aims to ensure equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all participating countries, including Nigeria, whose large population of 200 million people and poor infrastructure pose a daunting challenge to rolling out the vaccinations, he told a press conference in Abuja, the capital city, on Tuesday.
Nigeria, which is combatting a second spike in COVID-19 cases, will first inoculate frontline health workers, first responders, national leaders, people vulnerable to coronavirus, and the elderly, Shuaib said.
On Tuesday night, the west African country reported 1,354 new cases, its highest single-day jump, up from the previous day’s 1,243 cases. The total number of confirmed cases now stood at 92,705.
Nigeria has so far reported 1,319 deaths related to COVID-19; 76,396 patients have recovered.