NIGERIA has just taken delivery over 4m doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine from the US received by United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) officials in Abuja as President Joe Biden fulfils his pledge to assist poorer countries with vaccination.
Upon assuming office in January, President Biden promised to assist poor and developing nations fight the pandemic by donating vaccines to them. On Sunday morning, he fulfilled this pledge to Nigeria as 4,000,080 doses of the vaccine arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Kathleen FitzGibbon, the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in Abuja, said that the US through Covax and bilateral donations, was delivering millions of safe and effective vaccine doses to its partners, friends and allies around the world. This latest delivery was the second batch of vaccines to arrive Nigeria after an initial 4m doses were earlier delivered in March, under the Covax vaccine sharing facility.
Covax was set up to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries and has already delivered more than 80m doses to 129 territories. Nigeria has since exhausted the initial 4m doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines received to kick-off her nationwide inoculation programme.
This Moderna vaccine is the mRNA type, of which two shots are administered through intramuscular injection, 28 days apart. Listed for emergency use by the World Health Organisation and approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the Modena vaccine is deemed safe and effective, based on data from large-scale clinical trials.
Ms FitzGibbon said: “America’s support for the global fight against Covid-19 includes donating 80m vaccine doses from its supplies to other countries and purchasing 500m vaccine doses to donate to nearly 100 developing countries. She added that the US was contributing $2bn to Covax, the global initiative to equitably distribute safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
“Delivering essential medicines, supplies and therapeutics, as well as other assistance to help countries rebuild economies, overcome food shortages and strengthen health security. The US will be the world’s arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus, President Biden said in a June 3 statement.
“We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease, ” Ms FitzGibbon added. She noted that in August, the 500m doses of the Pfizer vaccine that President Biden committed just before the G7, would also start moving and a significant portion of those will be deployed to Africa.