FG dismisses reports on WHO removal of Nigeria from list of countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines | Ripples Nigeria
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FG dismisses reports on WHO removal of Nigeria from list of countries to receive COVID-19 vaccines

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Saturday dismissed as misplaced reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has delisted Nigeria from the list of African countries to receive its COVID-19 vaccines.

Mohammed, who stated this in a radio programme in Abuja, said Nigeria was still on the list of beneficiaries of the COVID-19 vaccines.

He described the report on the delisting of the country by WHO over lack of storage facilities for the vaccines as a misrepresentation of facts.

The minister said: “The report is untrue; it is not correct at all. WHO has not delisted Nigeria from the list of vaccine beneficiaries.

“What happened was that Nigeria was to get 100,000 doses of vaccines from Pfizer in January which the pharmaceutical company later said would be delivered in February.

“Even while we were awaiting the delivery for Pfizer’s vaccines, we had already put in place storage facilities that could store up to 400,000 doses of the vaccine at -70 degrees Celsius.

READ ALSO: Nigeria pushing to get COVID-19 vaccines by end of February — Onyeama

“This is apart from the storage facilities put in place by states in the country. So the issue of lack of storage facilities is not true.

“And you know COVID-19 vaccines are limited in supply and that informed why WHO thought that if countries should get the vaccines based on affordability, so many others would not get the vaccines.

“So they decided to deliver millions of doses to countries that might not be able to get them easily. So they promised Nigeria 41 million doses free with the initial delivery of 16 million doses of Oxford -AstraZeneca vaccines to come this month.”

Mohammed said WHO opted to send Oxford’s vaccines first because it could be stored in a relatively higher temperature.

He, however, said all vaccines sent to the country would have to be certified safe by the National Agency For Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) before they would be accepted by the Federal Government.

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