The United Kingdom
government has donated an additional 592,880 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria via the COVAX facility.
The donation brings the total number of COVID-19
vaccine doses donated to the country from the UK through COVAX to 1,292,640 in August alone.
According to a statement by the British High Commission, Abuja, the vaccines delivered to Nigeria are part of over five million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that the UK has donated through COVAX, the scheme designed to ensure equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines.
This latest batch is part of the nine million doses the UK has donated around the world since the end of July 2021.
The receiving countries, according to the statement, include Zambia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Senegal, Egypt, Ethiopia and Pakistan.
It added that the UK-donated doses are part of a broader pledge to share 100 million vaccines with the rest of the world by June 2022. Eighty percent of these doses will be shared through the COVAX facility, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of 2021.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made this pledge at the UK-hosted G7 Leaders’ Summit earlier this year.
“The UK has led the international response to COVID-19, including through kick-starting efforts to establish the COVAX Facility in 2020, providing £548 million to fund vaccines for lower income countries.
“So far, the COVAX Facility has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle income countries. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries by early 2022.
“The UK also invested £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Over a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries.
“In Nigeria, we are supporting a Nigerian-led response and working closely with Nigerian-based partners, including UNICEF, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDCDA) and the World Health Organisation,” the statement noted.
Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson said: “The UK continues to promote global efforts to help every country receive the vaccine against Covid-19. I am so pleased to see Nigeria receive an extra 592,880 doses donated by the UK, which brings the total this month to 1,292,640 doses.
“This will help Nigeria meet its urgent need for vaccines. Only by vaccinating more people around the world can we bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic.”
Chief executive officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, said: “These latest shipments of U.K.-donated doses means more people will benefit from life-saving vaccines. We thank Britain for its support for COVAX and its objective to make sure the most vulnerable everywhere are protected against the virus.”