The Federal Government of Nigeria, has denied media reports making the rounds, that Nigeria has been disqualified from accessing COVID Vaccines by the World Health Organization (WHO), due to poor electricity supply in the country. The government calls the reports fake news and has urged Nigerians to disregarded them.
The Federal government made this known in a statement released on Saturday 6th February 2021, by Mr Olusegun Adeyemi who is the Special Assistant to the President, Office of the Minister of Information and Culture.
He said this was confirmed by the WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulomboo, who denied the reports on the purported disqualification of Nigeria from accessing COVID vaccines, at a virtual press conference held on Saturday 6th February 2020 in Abuja.
“WHO has not disqualified any country in Africa from accessing COVID vaccines through the COVAX facility, but rather is supporting all countries to access vaccines as quickly as possible,” Dr Walter Kazadi Mulomboo said.
FG in their statement, said currently, all countries on the continent are expected to start accessing the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines by the end of February. The vaccine is under review by WHO for Emergency Use Listing and the outcome is expected soon.
Of the 88 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to African countries for the first phase, Nigeria has received by far the largest allocation, with 16 million doses.
In addition to the Astra Zeneca doses, there is an initial limited volume of Pfizer vaccine available through COVAX.
Demand for the initial allocation of 1.2 million Pfizer doses was exceptionally high. COVAX received interest from 72 countries around the world, of which 51 countries were considered by the review committee as “ready” (Nigeria was among these countries) and 18 countries in total were finally chosen to receive initial Pfizer doses.
On the Africa continent, as of the 18 January deadline, COVAX received 13 submissions and a multi-agency committee evaluated the proposals of which 9 were recommended as ready to deploy the Pfizer vaccine including Nigeria.
Unfortunately, it was not feasible to provide each of these 51 countries with Pfizer doses, due to a number of factors including the limited capacity for Pfizer to handle many countries at once.
After epidemiological data was taken into account, the decision was taken to proportionally balance the number of self financing and AMC Participants, as well as Participants across all 6 WHO regions,” the government said.