March 1st 2021 – Twenty-four African countries will soon receive Covid-19 vaccines from the UN Covax programme.
Nigeria is set to receive 3.92 million vaccine doses, becoming the third West-African country to benefit from the facility. The country expects to receive a total of 16 million doses from Covax, in the next few months.
However, health officials worry that misconceptions and misgivings on the vaccines might get in their way. A health journalist Moji Makanjuola, urged the citizens to get vaccinated, noting the effectiveness of the vaccines.
Ghana was the first country to receive vaccines under the Covax scheme. The scheme aims at ensuring that the vaccines are shared fairly among all nations, rich and poor.
A total of 600,000 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University have already been delivered to Accra. The country is expecting further deliveries to neighbouring Ivory Coast later this week. This is according to the Covax alliance.
The vaccines delivered to Accra were produced by the Serum Institute of India and developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. The vaccine has been approved by the WHO. The rollout in the country is not part of a trial.
Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa, noted that the deployment is a crucial first step to ensure that countries access to vaccines.
Dr. Moeti said, “Africa has watched other regions start COVID-19 vaccination campaigns from the side-lines for too long. This planned roll-out is a critical first step to ensuring the continent gets equitable access to vaccines.
“We urge African nations to ramp up readiness and finalize their national vaccine deployment plans. Regulatory processes, cold chain systems, and distribution plans need to be in place to ensure vaccines are safely expedited from ports of entry to delivery,” she added.