Covid-19- Nigeria did not qualify to get Pfizer vaccine but will get from Astrazeneca by feb- WHO

The World Health Organization yesterday said it did not stop any country including Nigeria from accessing the covid-19 vaccine but rather considered many factors in allocating the Pfizer doses of vaccine to countries.

The WHO Country Representative in Nigeria Dr Walter Kazadi Mulomboo in his remarks on the purported disqualification of Nigeria from access COVID 19 vaccines held on Saturday 6th February, in Abuja noted “WHO has not disqualified any country in Africa from accessing COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility, but rather is supporting all countries to access vaccines as quickly as possible.

According to him, the demand for the initial allocation of 1.2 million Pfizer doses was exceptionally high. COVAX received interest from 72 countries around the world, of which 51 countries were considered by the review committee as “ready” (Nigeria was among these countries) and 18 countries in total were finally chosen to receieve Pfizer doses.
“On the Africa continent, as of the 18 January deadline, COVAX received 13 submissions and a multi-agency committee evaluated the proposals of which 9 were recommended as ready to deploy the Pfizer vaccine including Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, it was not feasible to provide each of these 51 countries with Pfizer doses, due to a number of factors including the limited capacity for Pfizer to handle many countries at once. Therefore, spreading the limited doses across all the 51 countries deemed ‘ready’. could have not achieve the intended public health benefit.

The WHO representative added that despite all,ccountries on the continent are expected to start accessing the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines by the end of February adding that the vaccine is under review by WHO for Emergency Use Listing and the outcome is expected soon.
“Of the 88 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to African countries for the first phase, Nigeria has received by far the largest allocation, with 16 million doses.
In addition to the Astra Zeneca doses, there is an initial limited volume of Pfizer vaccine available through COVAX.

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