The Nigerian official in charge of COVID-19 vaccination campaign says Nigeria has prioritized AstraZeneca, Pfizer , Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Faisal Shuaib, head of Nigeria’s primary healthcare agency, said the Sinopharm vaccine had been approved by the national medicines regulator “for emergency use” but its use was not a priority.
It doesn’t make sense for us to take 20 vaccines that are globally recognised or on the emergency list to Nigeria, he told reporters at an annual COVID briefing.
We are prioritizing vaccines that we are already familiar with,” he said, adding that whether other vaccines are used in Nigeria later depends on availability and “how this pandemic shapes up.”
Shuaib had said earlier this week that Nigeria will receive 7.7 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine through COVAX, a scheme aimed at providing vaccines to developing countries. He had not clarified whether Sinopharm doses would be administered.
In Nigeria, 2.9 million people have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 1.4 million have received two doses. Nigeria has a population of 200 million people.
There is a lack of supply and a high level of vaccine hesitancy among some parts of the population.
AstraZeneca vaccine delivered by Britain to Nigeria last week is the latest in a series of donations from developed nations, Shuaib announced last week.
Tens of millions of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also be delivered to Nigeria over the coming months through an African Union programme.