Nigerian Government last week began the administration of Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccination in the country. This information was revealed by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who stated that Nigeria has an adequate stock of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine with over 30 million doses in stock.
He further urged all eligible persons yet to receive their vaccination to go to the nearest COVID-19 vaccination site and get vaccinated. “This single dose offers the same protection as the double doses of the other vaccines,” Ehanire said.
According to him, Nigeria had administered over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccination as of February 18, 2022, representing over 18 percent of the 111,176,503 eligible population targeted for vaccination.
To aid the vaccination drive in Africa, in November 2021, Mastercard Foundation, in partnership with Africa CDC, delivered over 3.3 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines to Nigeria through its Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.
UNICEF Nigeria received the vaccines and has been responsible for the logistics and delivery to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for cold storage and distribution to vaccination centres.
Launched in June 2021, Saving Lives and Livelihoods is a $1.5 billion partnership that aims to enable vaccination for millions of people, develop a workforce for vaccine manufacturing, and strengthen the Africa CDC’s capacity to oversee a historic vaccination campaign and effectively respond to future outbreaks. The initiative aims to purchase and deliver at least 65 million vaccines to Africa.
According to the President and CEO of Mastercard Foundation, Reeta Roy, timely delivery of these vaccines underscores the effectiveness of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust. Working with the Africa CDC and other organizations, the Foundation will support the rollout of vaccinations to millions across the Continent.
During a recent press briefing on the COVID-19 disease outbreak held on February 3, 2022, the Director, Africa CDC, Dr. John Nkengasong, disclosed that the organization would continue to support member states to build their capacity in the area of infection prevention and control. Further efforts would also be put in place by developing frameworks that will further fight the pandemic.
Vaccines purchased under Saving Lives and Livelihoods build on a historic agreement negotiated by the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) earlier this year to acquire 400 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines and a more recent contract to purchase 50 million Moderna vaccines.