U.S. donates 3.6 million doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria

FILE PHOTO: Vials with a sticker reading, “COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only” and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

ABUJA (Reuters) – The United States has donated 3.6 million doses of the Pfizer Inc/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria, two months after it shipped Moderna Inc vaccines to Africa’s most-populous nation, a local television station reported on Thursday.

Faisal Shuaib, who heads Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said on Oct. 5 the country had confirmation that it would receive 3.57 million doses of Pfizer vaccines within the next two weeks.

The shipment arrived on Thursday at the airport in the capital, Abuja, AIT Television reported. Nigerian and U.S. health authorities could not immediately be reached for comment.

In August, Nigeria received 4 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines donated by the U.S. government.

The West African country has been exploring options to acquire or purchase vaccines through the COVAX facility to enable it to inoculate at least 70% of its population.

About 2.3% of Nigerians or 2.54 million people have been fully vaccinated as of Thursday, while 4.7% of the population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Nigeria, which has not tested widely for COVID-19, has so far recorded 208,404 confirmed infections and 2,761 deaths from the virus.

It received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from the French government last week and 434,400 doses of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine from the African Union.

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