As COVID-19 Cases Surge, Nigeria Plans To Get First Batch Of Vaccines By 'End Of

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As part of its plan to inoculate at least 40% of its population, the Nigerian government expects to receive its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines by the “end of the month,” Faisal Shuaib, the head of the country's National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said Tuesday. The country also plans to get the vaccine to a further 30% of its population by next year, the BBC reports. The first batch of expected Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines will contain 100,000 doses and will be acquired through the global vaccine-sharing scheme known as the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility. Shuaib said in a briefing that the country hopes to get 42 million vaccines through the COVAX Facility to cover one-fifth of Nigeria’s population. Frontline health workers, first responders, the elderly, national leaders, and people who are vulnerable to the coronavirus will receive the vaccine first, according to Shuaib. COVAX is a global collaboration — co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) — to help poorer countries gain equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines amidst fears that the economic advantages of wealthier countries could cause a shortage for their less-wealthy counterparts. New variants of the virus have also emerged on the continent with mutations already confirmed in Nigeria and South Africa. Although getting a vaccine is a good thing, many people remain skeptical about the side effects of the vaccine. Whether the vaccine has the same effect on the mutated virus is not known.

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