The Federal Government says it has signed off to receive 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine through the African Union (AU).
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at a media briefing of the presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had, in March, approved the single-dose vaccine for emergency use in all countries.
The US had briefly paused administration of the vaccine following concerns about blood clots, but it was later announced on April 23 that vaccination using the Johnson & Johnson doses will resume across the country.
Shuaib said aside from the expected doses, in response to the anticipated delay in supply of vaccines due to high demand, the government will preserve 50 percent of available AstraZeneca vaccine in Nigeria for the administration of second doses.
“I am pleased to inform you that as at April 26th, 2021, 1,173,869 Nigerians, representing 58.3 percent of the eligible persons targeted in this current phase, have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
“Notwithstanding the above successes, we are aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demand, especially in countries where the vaccines are being produced. We, therefore, anticipate a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.
“However, in response to the anticipated delay, the federal government has rationalised the vaccination exercise by preserving 50 percent of available doses of the vaccine for administration of the second doses. Each state of the federation, including the FCT, is currently administering only 50 percent of their allocated doses of vaccines.
“The remaining 50 percent will be administered to clients who had earlier received the first dose and this would be scheduled between eight to 12 weeks from the date of their first dose.
“Data from this exercise are being uploaded and updated by states on the electronic management platform.
“Furthermore, the federal government has signed off to receive up to 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine through the African Union (AU).”
Shuaib said more vaccines are also expected through the United Nations-led COVAX facility before the end of June.
“We are also expecting deliveries of vaccines through the COVAX facility by the end of May or early June 2021. By this time, we would have completed the process of administering the second doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine to those who got the first dose,” he said.
“In the meantime, NAFDAC is continuing discussions with manufacturers and examining their vaccines, in anticipation of emergency use listing from the World Health Organisation.”