Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, says Nigeria is expecting 58 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX and African Union AVATT platform.
While AVATT is chaired by the South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, COVAX, which is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and GAVI Alliance, was launched in 2020 to mobilize resources for innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
Speaking at the presidential task force briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, Ehanire said the federal government is working on multiple approaches to obtain vaccines.
He said COVAX will provide the country with 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of the year, while AVATT will supply over 42 million doses.
“With regard to vaccines, Nigeria has kept abreast of global development and supports the call of WHO for fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, since COVID-19 is a threat to mankind,” he said.
“We subscribed to two multilateral vaccine access platforms; the first being the Covax facility that will supply members, including Nigeria, vaccines free of charge, to cover 20% of our population. The expected first wave of 100,000 vaccines derived from this facility.
“There has since been a change that now offers Nigeria 16 million vaccine doses in the first half of the year. The other multilateral platform is the African Union AVATT platform, the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, chaired by the President of South Africa, Mr Ramaphosa.
“AVATT has acquired 300 million doses of three types of vaccines which have been offered to African countries, based on population, such that no country is left behind.
“Nigeria subscribes to this whole-of-Africa approach, that strives to ensure that we are safe and our neighbors are safe. We shall be offered over 42 million doses by AVATT. If all the projected vaccines are supplied, we estimate we should have covered over 45% of the population.”
Ehanire said Nigeria is in talks with Gamaleya, a pharmaceutical company in Russia, over its Sputnik V vaccine.
He noted that negotiation is also ongoing with India over the Covax vaccine of Barhat Institute.