COVID-19 vaccines will cushion humanitarian challenges in Nigeria- Minister

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq has expressed delight in the arrival of 3.92 million doses of of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines today.

The minister stated at a brief ceremony to receive the consignment at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Tuesday, that the vaccines will help reduce the humanitarian issues in the country.

“Let me start my expressing my happiness for the arrival of the first consignment of the Covid 19 vaccines. This demonstrates a milestone in the history of this country in the fight against COVID- 19.

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“COVID 19 is not only a health emergency but a humanitarian challenge for us in the ministry but with these vaccines now to be administered on our citizens, it will really go a long way in cushioning the humanitarian challenges that we are facing.

”I use this opportunity to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the support he has given to the Presidential Task Force through the chairman and SGF Mr Boss Mustapha . We are all pleased and we hope that these vaccines will effectively utilized” Umar Farouq said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force Mr Boss Mustapha also described the arrival of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines as a milestone in the history of the country and international response to Covid-19.

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“In the last one year, the whole world has been attacked by this virus.

“The successful development of vaccines and the accelerated process for emergency authorisation has brought hope to humanity all over the world. The delivery of these vaccines was made possible as a result of the resourceful leadership provided by President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and major financial support from our friends globally”.

The PTF Chairman said that the federal government is expecting an additional 84 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX this year, which will serve 20% of Nigeria’s over 200m population.

He stated that government will begin the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers who are the highest-priority recipients in Abuja on March 5 followed by strategic leaders on March 8.

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The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is from Mumbai.

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