Nigeria has received 4-million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the US as the most populous country in Africa ramps up efforts to battle a rising third wave of infections.
UNICEF officials received the vaccines, which arrived on two separate aeroplanes on Sunday, on behalf of Nigeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, according to Vanguard Nigeria.
The delivery marks the second batch of vaccines to arrive in the country after a previous 4-million doses were delivered in March under the COVAX vaccine sharing facility. The country has since exhausted the March-delivered batch of AstraZeneca vaccines during the kick-off of its first nationwide inoculation programme.
The Moderna vaccines delivered on Sunday are an mRNA type of jab, manufactured and developed by Moderna, NIAID. The vaccine requires two doses for full protection and needs to be administered via intramuscular injection – a shot to the upper arm.
Moderna’s jabs have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and have been approved for human use by Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). NAFDAC considers the jabs “safe and effective based on data from large-scale clinical trials.”
Nigeria’s Third Wave Driven by COVID-19 Delta
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported the first case of the highly infectious COVID-19 Delta variant in June and has since placed the nation on alert for the third wave of infections in the country.
Currently, Nigeria has recorded more than 174,000 COVID-19 cases with 2,149 deaths. To aid the country’s vaccination efforts, no less than 250-million doses of COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be donated through the COVAX facility within the next six to eight weeks, according to the WHO.
Of those, the US is delivering 80-million vaccines through COVAX.