COVID19 Health Nigeria Top Story

Nigeria not considering Sinopharm vaccine – Faisal Shuaib

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Image Credits: Oliver Bunic/Bloomberg.

When asked on Tuesday whether Nigeria would use the Sinopharm vaccine, the ED/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib replied that Nigeria was focusing on the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Dr. Shuaib said that even though the Sinopharm vaccine had been approved by NAFDAC “for emergency use”, rolling it out was not a priority.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency

“We don’t want a situation where we may have 10, 20 vaccines that have been globally recognised or listed for emergency use, and then you want to take all 20 vaccines to Nigeria, it doesn’t make any sense,” he reasoned.

The Primary Health Care boss said, “We’re prioritising those ones that we’re already familiar with.”

Whether any other vaccine apart from the four he had mentioned were to be used in Nigeria any time in the future would depend on availability and on “how this pandemic shapes up”.

But at a briefing the previous week, Shuaib announced that Nigeria was expected to take delivery of 7.7 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine through the COVAX scheme aimed at providing vaccines to developing countries.

Whether these would eventually be administered is now unclear.

Shuaib revealed that 2.9 million people in Nigeria had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.4 million people have received two doses, warning that those who were hesitant about taking the vaccine could face sanctions.

He announced that Nigeria had taken delivery last week of almost 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine supplied by Britain through the COVAX scheme, the latest out of a series of donations from developed countries.

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Nigeria is also expecting deliveries over the coming months of tens of millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which it purchased through an African Union programme.

The Sinopharm vaccine is one of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for inoculation against the COVID-19 virus.

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