U.S. hands over four million doses of Moderna vaccine to Nigeria

The U.S Mission to Nigeria has stated that the 4,000, 080 Moderna vaccines doses donated to Nigeria was part of President Joe Biden’s commitment to combat the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms Kathleen FitzGibbon, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy, said this at the official handover of the vaccines at the national briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday, in Abuja.

The 4,000,080 Moderna doses, which arrived on two flights on Sunday, at about 2:15 am of Aug 1, 2021, were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The delivery was the second batch of vaccines to arrive Nigeria after four million doses were earlier delivered in March, under the COVAX vaccine sharing facility.

COVAX was set up to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines, particularly to low-income countries, and has already delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 territories.

Nigeria has since exhausted the four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received to kick-off her nationwide inoculation programme.

The Moderna vaccine received on Sunday is the mRNA type of vaccine manufactured and developed by Moderna NIAID.

Two shots of the vaccine are administered through intramuscular injection, 28 days apart.

Listed for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Modena vaccine is deemed safe and effective, based on data from large-scale clinical trials.

FitzGibbon disclosed that the United States, through COVAX and bilateral donations, was delivering millions of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to its partners, friends, and allies around the world.

She noted that the it worked with international partners to donate COVID-19 vaccines to the world to end the pandemic.

“America’s support for the global fight against COVID-19 includes: donating 80 million vaccine doses from its supplies to other countries and purchasing 500 million vaccine doses to donate to nearly 100 developing countries.

“Contributing $2 billion to COVAX, the global initiative to equitably distribute safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.

“Delivering essential medicines, supplies and therapeutics, as well as other assistance to help countries rebuild economies, overcome food shortages and strengthen health security.

“The United States will be the world’s arsenal of vaccines in our shared fight against this virus, President Biden said in a June 3 statement.

“We will continue to do all we can to build a world that is safer and more secure against the threat of infectious disease”, FitzGibbon explained.

She noted that in August, the 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine that President Biden committed just before the G7, would also start moving and a significant portion of those will be deployed to Africa.

The US government has begun the process of delivering 25 million doses, as quickly as possible, working closely with the African Union, governments and COVAX.

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