The UK Government has revealed that the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) had announced that Nigeria would be one of the first countries to receive 16 million free doses of Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.
This follows the sharing of the first forecasts of countries that would receive Covid-19 vaccines through COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the British High Commission Office on Tuesday, stating that the free doses would be received in the first half of this year.
What the British High Commission Office is saying
It stated that COVAX had allocated over 330 million doses for low and lower-middle-income countries, including Nigeria.
The British High Commission, in its statement, said, “As one of the 92 ODA-eligible countries participating in the COVAX AMC initiative, Nigeria will benefit from this arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20 per cent of its population, and the UK is playing a supportive role in ensuring an effective and equitable introduction of COVID-19 vaccines.”
It said that the UK was playing a leadership role in tackling Covid-19 internationally, and so far had pledged up to 1.3 billion pounds from UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible.
It noted that the aid would be used in championing access to vaccines for all countries, particularly the world’s poorest.
The High Commission said that the UK is supporting an effective roll-out of the vaccines in Nigeria through engagement and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders.
It said, “COVAX is a global initiative to support the development, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for up to one billion people by the end of 2021. COVAX is an international alliance co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization, with participation from over 180 countries.
The UK is one of the largest donors to the COVAX facility and has committed 548 million pounds to the AMC, a scheme that leverages the scale assured by the participation of higher-income economies so that the lower-income countries are able to participate and access COVID-19 vaccines.”
The British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, said: “This news on the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine rollout brings us one step closer to delivering vaccines to millions of Nigerians. I am pleased that Nigeria will get millions of these free doses by the end of 2021.
The UK is playing a global role in promoting an effective roll-out, including as one of the largest COVAX donors and through our engagement with the Nigerian-led response.’’
- The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had earlier announced that the first batch of 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which is from AstraZeneca under the COVAX programme, is expected to be available from February.
- This is coming after the African Union (AU)’s African Vaccines had allocated 42 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Nigeria.