COVID-19: Italian govt donates over three million doses of vaccine to Nigeria

The Nigeria government on Monday received 3,002,400 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines from the government of Italy.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Abuja, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said the donation was in line with the global call for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Mr Shuaib said the donation is also a reflection of the commitment of the Italian government and European delegates to the global efforts in halting the pandemic which has claimed millions of lives.

He said the rollout of the J&J vaccine across the country has rapidly improved vaccination coverage.

He noted that the donated vaccines will be judiciously utilised, saying the country has instituted accountability in the COVID-19 vaccination programme to ensure efficient use of all available resources.

The donation of COVID-19 vaccines by the Italian government is the second to Nigeria in the last five weeks. The Japanese government on March 2 donated 859,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nigeria through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, COVAX.

Vaccination so far

Mr Shuaib said over 13 million eligible persons in Nigeria have been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus and 23 million others have received their first dose.

“As of today the 11th of April 2022, we have fully vaccinated 13,588,718 persons which is approximately 12.2 per cent of our total eligible population.

“Meanwhile 23,012,700 others have received their first dose which represents 18 per cent of the total eligible population,” he said.

He said the agency has intensified technical support to all states to ramp up the vaccination coverage.