COVID-19: Nigeria receives 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from France

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA) has officially received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility as donation from the Government of France to Nigeria.

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The Executive Director,NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, while receiving the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store, in Abuja, said that Nigeria was among the first African countries to receive vaccines from the Government of France to Nigeria.

According to shauib,It is indeed gratifying to say that France has not only been a dependable development ally to Nigeria but has been quite brotherly in all ramifications. The donation of over half a million doses of AstraZeneca to Nigeria is 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.

The NPHCDA boss added that the Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have remained efficient and well maintained. Adding that no standards were compromised in logistics requirements for effective management and utilization of all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country.

He disclosed that the Federal Government had put in place 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 report from our Senior Supervisors and State Immunization officers who are on the field to monitor the management and administration of the vaccines“. Dr Shuaib said.

In his remarks, the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, who has successful completed his tour of duty in country, commended the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in addressing the pandemic through procurement of vaccines and getting them across the country.

He said that he was happy that the French government was donating over half a million doses of the vaccine and encouraged Nigerians yet to take the vaccine to do so.

After 3 years in Nigeria, today happens to be my final assignment in Nigeria as i leave the country for France tomorrow, to begin my next assignment,” he disclosed.

The ambassador noted that the French board was fully opened to Nigerians that were vaccinated.

If you have a proof of vaccination, that will be said you can go to France. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test, when you are in France,but with your certificate from Nigeria, you can get tested, which is required in some places around the world. So, both regulations apply to Nigerian nationals. Fresh nationals, or any other nationality, because we know wherever the progress, doesn’t make difference,” Pasquier said.

The World Health Organisation Country Representative Dr. Walter Mulombo said that Nigerians need to get vaccinated to meet the new target of 40% benchmark, by Dec.2021.

He noted that the organization had also called on countries which have already achieved high coverage to swap their place in the vaccine distribution line with countries that have had less access.

He commended Nigeria on its vaccines distribution and also its technology approach in its vaccination programme.

Adding that other countries need to come to Nigeria to learn the act of vaccine distribution.

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