Nigeria receives 117,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines for next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations

– Nigeria has taken delivery of 117,600 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine on 12 August 2021 in Abuja. The delivery marks the first wave of arrivals of COVID-19 vaccines procured through the African Union.

“The arrival of these vaccines will be yet another step in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He adds that the shipment, is the first batch of the vaccine from the African Union which would be received in segments monthly until total 29.8 million doses are completed.

Speaking on the advantage of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, ED said, “The single dose vaccine will be a viable tool to interrupt the spread of the pandemic especially in the rural areas, riverine and hard to reach places. It would be more beneficial for Nigeria, given its huge difficult terrains, coupled with weak systems for keeping track of people and logistics involved for delivering the second doses.”

The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is stored between 2°C and 8°C (36°F and 46°F): Storage unit temperatures must be monitored regularly and checked and recorded at the beginning of each workday to determine if any excursions have occurred since the last temperature check.

Taking partners and journalists round the National Strategic Cold Store where the vaccines are kept, Dr. Shuaib said that, the country has proven with the storage of the AstraZeneca vaccine that it has the right equipment to adequately store the Janssen vaccine which requires same storage temperature.

In his remark, the WHO country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo commended the effort of the Nigerian government in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and making available vaccine for the populace

Dr Molumbo said that the arrival of the is a symbolic landmark in Nigeria’s widely acclaimed successful response to COVID-19 pandemic.

Pledging WHO’s continuous commitment to supporting the country in reaching its targeted population with safe and effective vaccines, Dr Mulombo said that as the only single dose COVID-19 vaccine approved for use to date, the Janssen is an important tool for accessing hard-to-reach populations, thus playing a key role in preventing infections and reducing deaths across Nigeria.

“As I mentioned at different fora, vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19. These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game- changer: but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds.

Let me seize this opportunity to say that this pandemic still has a long way to run: Nigeria is experiencing a 3rd wave and we need to work together to ensure that all preventive measures put in place are maximized to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our lives”, he said.

Earlier this month (01 August 2021) Nigeria also received its second batch of COVID-19 vaccines under the COVAX Facility. Over four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were donated by the United States Government. This is an important step in the fight against COVID-19 as the country intensify efforts to battle the current third wave of infections.

Recall that on 02 March 2021 Nigeria received 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO. The arrival marked a historic step towards the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.

Source: World Health Organization. Africa