The United Kingdom says plans had been concluded for Nigeria to receive 16 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the first half of 2021.
As one of the 92 ODA-eligible countries participating to the COVAX AMC initiative, it said Nigeria will benefit from the vaccine arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20% of its population, and the that the UK is playing a supportive role in ensuring an effective and equitable introduction of COVID-19 vaccines.
In a statement signed by the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, made available to journalists on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the UK noted Nigeria has been allocated COVID-19 Vaccine through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.
Recall that on 3rd February Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, announced the first set of countries which will be allocated COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility, which Nigeria is part of. Gavi, the Global Vaccine Alliance, has shared the first forecasts of countries who will receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment, AMC.
COVAX has allocated over 330 million doses for low and lower middle-income countries, including Nigeria. COVAX said it aims to deliver many of these in the first half 2021.
‘‘This is a global pandemic that needs a global solution.
The UK is at the forefront of tackling COVID-19 internationally and has so far pledged up to £1.3 billion of UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, championing access to vaccines for all countries, particularly the world’s poorest. The UK is not doing this alone.
‘‘This is a collective effort, including working with international partners. In Nigeria, the UK is supporting an effective roll out of the vaccine through engagement and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and relevant stakeholders,’’ said the UK.
COVAX is a global initiative to support the development, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for up to one billion people by the end of 2021.
COVAX is an international alliance co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, CEPI, and the World Health Organization, with participation from over 180 countries.
The UK is one of the largest donors to the COVAX facility and has committed £548 million to the AMC, a scheme that leverages the scale assured by the participation of higher-income economies so that the lower-income countries are able to participate and access COVID-19 vaccines.
The UK is also one of the largest donors to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has spent the past two decades expanding and updating cold-chain infrastructure and strengthening routine immunisation in lower-income countries.
As one of the 92 official development assistance (ODA)-eligible countries participating to the COVAX AMC initiative, Nigeria will benefit from this arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20% of its population.
The UK mission in Nigeria has been supporting the COVID-19 response in Nigeria since the start of the pandemic.
In 2020, the UK adapted its health and human development programming in Nigeria to support the COVID-19 response, and it has continued to respond to the epidemic across all pillars of the Nigerian government’s incident action plans, both through Public Health England, PHE, and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s, FCDO, Lafiya health programme in selected states across Nigeria.
This included short-term technical support by public health experts, initiatives to increase testing and to strengthen the country’s laboratory and sequencing capacity, as well as providing longer-term technical assistance to relevant health authorities and agencies, both at Federal and State level.
The UK is a member of the Technical Working Group, TWG, for the roll-out of the National Deployment and Vaccines Plan, NDVP, led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and has been working as a member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 since it was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020.
“This news on the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine roll out brings us one step closer to delivering vaccines to millions of Nigerians. I am pleased that Nigeria will get millions of these free doses by the end of 2021.
The UK is playing a global role in promoting an effective roll out, including as one of the largest COVAX donors and through our engagement with the Nigerian-led response,” said the British High Commissioner.