Nigeria will receive 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines before the end of February, an official has said.

This will replace the initial 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech approved vaccines expected in the country.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, announced the new development at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

He said the initial 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines expected this month is grossly inadequate for Nigeria’s large population.

“The COVAX facility has informed us that they will be supplying Nigeria with approximately 16 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine this month,” Mr Shuaib said.

“This will replace the earlier communicated 100,000 doses of Pfizer mRNA vaccine, which was grossly inadequate.”

COVAX

Most African countries, including Nigeria, are banking on benefitting from the COVAX programme, which was set-up to divide over a billion doses of vaccines across 92 low-and middle-income countries.

The facility promised access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population with an initial supply beginning in the first quarter of the year to immunise three per cent of their populations.

Through the COVAX initiative, the Nigerian government had announced that it will receive an initial 100,000 doses of the Pfizer and bioNtech by February.