Covid-19: Nigeria Receives Vaccine Donation From Italy

R-L: Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Muloumbo, UNICEF Nigeria Country Representative, Peter Hawkins at the Covid-19 Vaccine donation ceremony in Abuja on Monday, April 11, 2022.

Nigeria has received yet another Covid-19 vaccine donation, this time around, it recieved over three million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines from the Italian government.

Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib who received the donation on Monday, April 11, 2022 promised that the vaccines will be judiciously utilized.

TheFact Nigeria gathered that there was need to scale up vaccination efforts as some of the Moderna vaccines in the country were almost expiring.

Faisal disclosed that as at Monday, April 11, 2022, Nigeria fully vaccinated 13,588,718 persons which is approximately 12.2% of its total eligible population.

“Meanwhile 23,012,700 Nigerians have received their first dose which represents 18% of the total eligible population.  We have also intensified our technical support to the states to ramp up the vaccination coverage.

“We are currently supporting the states to finalize their micro plans which we believe will further strengthen accountability in the utilization and management of available resources and increase uptake based on locally acceptable methods and standards”, he said.

Faisal further disclosed that Nigeria fully was utilizing the COVID-19 vaccination programme to strengthen its primary health care system by using routine immunization as an entry point. Its current strategic approach for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, known as the optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, entails the integration of COVID-19 Vaccines with the current implementation.

Three million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines donated by the Italian government.

“This means that parents and caregivers with children or Wards aged zero to two years are encouraged to bring their children along to the COVID-19 vaccination site where childhood vaccines are available.

“While the adult receives COVID-19 vaccines, the children are assessed for the antigen they are due for and vaccinated. Thus, making the vaccination exercise more family-friendly. We believe this will further motivate eligible persons, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19″, the NPHCDA Boss said.

He, therefore, urged all eligible Nigerians who were yet to be vaccinated or due for their second or booster dose to avail themselves of current opportunities to take the vaccines.

Also speaking at the  donation ceremony, World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Muloumbo said the Italian government has been at the forefront of COVID-19 response through funding and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility.

“This donation is another remarkable example of global solidarity in action to end this pandemic. The World Health Organisation(WHO) as a key partner would like to thank the Italian Government for this great contribution”, he said.

Muloumbo noted that vaccination was still the best defence against COVID-19 and that WHO would continue to see mass vaccination campaigns produce results.

“The donated vaccines will go a long way in boosting the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country. WHO and partners will continue to lead and manage the COVAX pillar of ACT-Accelerator, providing end-to-end integrated support for the global vaccination targets”, he said.

Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, in his remarks said his country along with other European Union members, pledge to meet Nigeria’s vaccine needs with the aim to help to expand global vaccine coverage. “Providing single-shot vaccines reduces logistical challenges and ensure a faster achievement of Nigeria’s Government vaccination goals”, he said.

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