Furtherance to its vision of supporting Nigeria’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility has concluded plans to supply 16million free doses of COVID-19 jabs to Nigeria in the first half of 2021.
The British High Commission Office in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) disclosed that Gavi had shared the first forecasts of countries that would receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC) and Nigeria was one of them.
COVAX is a global initiative to support the development, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for up to one billion people by the end of 2021. The global initiative is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and the World Health Organization, with participation from over 180 countries.
According to the Commission, COVAX has allocated over 330 million doses for low and lower-middle-income countries, including Nigeria.
Part of the statement reads: “As one of the 92 ODA-eligible countries participating in the COVAX AMC initiative, Nigeria will benefit from this arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20 percent of its population, and the UK is playing a supportive role in ensuring an effective and equitable introduction of COVID-19 vaccines.
‘‘This is a collective effort, including working with international partners. In Nigeria, the UK is supporting an effective roll-out of the vaccine through engagement and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and relevant stakeholders,’’- it said
The UK government also noted that it was at the forefront of tackling COVID-19 internationally; as it has pledged up to 1.3 billion pounds from UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible.
UK is one of the largest donors to the COVAX facility and has committed 548 million pounds to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), a scheme that leverages the scale assured by the participation of higher-income economies so that the lower-income countries are able to participate and access COVID-19 vaccines.