The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA)on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, received over 3 million single-shot COVID-19 vaccines donated by Italy.
More than 17 million doses were earlier sent by other European-Union member states.
The 20 current million total represents 61 per cent of all donated vaccines received by Nigeria via the COVAX facility.
Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, stated that Italy remains committed, along with other EU members, to support Nigeria’s vaccine needs to help to expand global vaccine coverage.
Providing single-shot vaccines reduces logistical challenges and ensures a faster achievement of Nigeria’s Government vaccination goals”, Leo added.
Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria, Amb. Samuela Isopi, said by acting together, guided by the principles of solidarity and multilateralism, COVID-19 will be defeated.
Today’s donation is in furtherance of Team Europe’s contribution towards a resilient and healthy population because we understand that health is central to the development of any country,” she noted.
Isopi recalled the Global Health Summit convened in Rome by Italian Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on 21 May 2021.
The top regional official announced that European countries are so far the biggest donor of COVID-19 vaccines in the world, with over 500 million distributed through COVAX and bilaterally.
Isopi affirmed Italy’s pledge of US$470million to the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (Gavi COVAX AMC) with additional funding and doses to priority nations.
NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, thanked the Italian Government for the donation
Shuaib called it is also a reflection of the sincerity and commitment of the country and Europe to the global efforts in halting the pandemic.
These vaccines, like all other vaccines we have in-country will be judiciously utilized, as we have instituted accountability in the vaccination programme”, the director assured.