Nigeria has secured an additional 41 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said on Thursday.
However, the date of the vaccine’s delivery into the country remains unknown as vaccine manufacturers struggle to meet global demand in time.
“We do not have an exact date,” Dr Ehanire said during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today. “The date it comes out depends on when the manufacturers are able to deliver, and that is not something that any country can enforce at this time.”
The 41 million doses were secured as part of efforts by an African Union task team to help countries on the continent gain equitable access to vaccines.
The AU earlier on Thursday had announced that it had secured an additional 400 million doses of the vaccines for the continent.
This comes on top of an earlier announcement by the AU that it had secured 270 million vaccine doses.
Many African countries, including Nigeria, are yet to start vaccination programs even as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the continent.
Nigeria was expected to take delivery of 100,000 vaccine doses via the WHO-backed Covax sharing facility by the end of January, but the timeline has now been shifted to February, Minister Ehanire confirmed on Thursday.
“The timelines are not in the hands of the recipient,” he stressed, noting that blocs like the European Union who had preordered vaccines since last year were yet to get enough supply.