ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria hopes to obtain as much as 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this yr by the African Union (AU), its major healthcare chief advised Reuters, amid issues about delayed deliveries of AstraZeneca pictures.
Rolling out vaccines in growing nations equivalent to Nigeria, whose 200 million-strong inhabitants is Africa’s largest, is seen as key to stemming the worldwide unfold of the brand new coronavirus.
Nigeria, which has recorded 2,049 deaths from COVID-19 and commenced vaccinations this month, plans to inoculate 40% of its individuals this yr and one other 30% in 2022.
Final week, India – the world’s largest vaccine maker – stated it could prioritise home inoculations, prompting fears of delays within the export of AstraZeneca doses beneath the World Well being Group (WHO)-backed COVAX scheme to produce vaccines to poorer international locations.
In a separate growth, Johnson & Johnson on Monday stated it’ll provide the AU with as much as 400 million doses of its single-dose vaccine starting within the third quarter.
Faisal Shuaib, who heads Nigeria’s Nationwide Main Well being Care Improvement Company, advised Reuters that Nigeria expects to initially obtain 30 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in July by the AU.
“We’re hoping that we’ll have the ability to stand up to 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson this yr. That is but to be finalised however these are among the superior conversations which might be occurring between Nigeria and the African Union,” he stated throughout an interview within the capital, Abuja.
Nigeria beforehand stated it had utilized for 41 million doses of vaccines by the AU, comprising of Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson pictures. However Shuaib stated the proportion of AstraZenca doses was prone to be diminished by the delays.
“A number of the allocations that we had been purported to get for the AstraZeneca shall be changed by the Johnson and Johnson,” he stated, including that this was but to be finalised.
Germany has from Wednesday restricted the usage of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to these aged 60 and above because it investigates a small variety of studies of uncommon blood clotting in individuals who received the vaccine. And Canada on Monday stated it could not supply the pictures to individuals beneath 55.
World regulators have stated the shot is protected and efficient.
Shuaib stated there was no proof of hostile unwanted effects in Nigeria and the AstraZeneca vaccine would proceed for use for eligible individuals aged 18 and above.
Nigeria’s finance minister has stated the nation will draw up a supplementary price range to cowl the price of COVID-19 vaccinations, for which no provision was made within the 2021 finance invoice adopted in December.
Shuaib stated he anticipated the supplementary price range to be introduced to lawmakers inside the subsequent two weeks.
Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; enhancing by Philippa Fletcher