France Donates 500,000 Astrazeneca COVID-19 Vaccines To Nigeria

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NPHCDA Coldstore
L-R: The France Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, executive director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, WHO country representative, Walter Kazadi Molumbo and UNICEF country representative, Raut Bhimsen at the NPHCDA national strategic coldstore in Abuja.

The Nigerian Government has received over 500,000 Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines donated by the French government through the COVAX facility.

The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the receipt of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine in Abuja.

Shuaib said the vaccines which were received in Nigeria on Monday, (October 4) were a demonstration of France’s confidence in Nigeria’s capability as an active and progressive partner in the global fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is, indeed, gratifying to say that France has not only been a dependable, development ally for Nigeria but brotherly in all ramifications, as well.

“The Federal Government has in place the necessary measures to ensure monitoring and accountability of the vaccines. We track utilization of all COVID-19 vaccines in all states of the Federation and receive daily reports from our senior supervisors and state immunization officers who are on the field to monitor the management and administration of the vaccines.

“Let me reiterate the fact that the Federal Government of Nigeria is committed to safe, equitable and effective COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible persons in the country. We will continue to work with our development partners and engage with all stakeholders to sustain transparency in our vaccination programme. We are also committed to fighting misinformation and disinformation with continued support from our professional mass media community. We have been engaging with the communities, using the lessons we learnt from polio eradication to ensure only true and verified information is shared. This has helped with increase in COVID-19 vaccines uptake across the country,” he said.

The NPHCDA boss stated that Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have remained efficient and well maintained, adding that no standards are compromised in logistics’ requirements for effective management and utilization of all COVID-19 vaccines available in Nigeria.

“Let me remind all eligible persons, 18 years and above, who have not been vaccinated to register and get vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who have received their first dose of Moderna or AstraZeneca should, please, check their due dates and go get their second dose for full protection.

“Let us all remember to continue to wear our face masks and observe all other preventive measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

“On behalf of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, I profoundly congratulate His Excellency, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, on the successful completion of his tour of duty in Nigeria. It is my hope and, indeed, the hope of every Nigerian that our country will continue to enjoy this type of friendship and support from France,” he added.

Stating that the donation of the 500,000 doses of vaccines, which is a significant quality of vaccine for Nigeria, Pasquier said: “Two years ago everybody didn’t see the catastrophe that will be coming to the world.

“We encourage everyone to be vaccinated.

“France and Nigeria have many many things to do together. COVID-19 has made things complicated and this is a new opportunity to develop a strong proposition,” he said.

The WHO country representative, Walter Kazadi Molumbo, thanked the Government of France for this gesture of solidarity by allocating the AstraZeneca vaccine.

” We are really happy that France was able to join this contribution to make sure that the availability of vaccines in Nigeria is improved, providing the country the opportunity to accelerate towards reaching the target set by the WHO organisation.

“We are looking forward to having, at least, 40 per cent of Nigeria’s population vaccinated by the end of the year, using different vaccines approved by the NAFDAC.

“Also, this is an opportunity for us to strengthen our partnership with the members of the press, to invite more people to get vaccinated. We need to get back to our normal businesses and vaccines are an important tool in that direction, while we continue to observe other protection measures of COVID- 19,” Molumbo said.

In his remarks, the UNICEF country representative, Cornelius Williams, represented by Raut Bhimsen, said the organisation, as well as the Nigerian (through the NPHCDA) and French governments, are working to support the COVID-19 vaccination by getting more people vaccinated.

Oluchi Okorafor
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