Covid-19: Nigeria receives 4m doses of Moderna vaccine from US
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Nigeria has received four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the United States as it steps up efforts to battle a third wave of infections.
The doses, which arrived on two planes on Sunday, were received by UNICEF officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, according to the AFP.
The delivery was the second batch of vaccines to arrive in Nigeria after four million doses were 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 to kick off its nationwide inoculation programme.
The Moderna vaccine received on Sunday, is mRNA type of vaccine manufactured and developed by Moderna, NIAID. Two shots of the vaccine are administered through intramuscular injection, 28 days apart.
The Moderna vaccine has been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, as safe and effective based on data from large-scale clinical trials.
In June, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, reported the first case of the highly contagious Delta variant putting the nation on alert for a third wave of infections in the country.
Nigeria has since recorded more cases of the Delta variant and experts worry that the situation could pose another setback to vaccine distribution, particularly if wealthier countries begin requiring booster shots for fully-vaccinated people, the Delta variant could slow shipments of urgently needed doses to developing nations.
Nigeria has recorded more than 174,000 COVID-19 cases with 2,149 deaths.
No less than 250 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to be donated through the COVAX Facility within six to eight weeks, according to the WHO. The US is distributing 80 million vaccine doses through COVAX.
With more than 152 million doses distributed thus far to 137 participating territories, the COVAX scheme aims to provide vaccines to poorer countries, and the inflow of doses will be a major boost.