The Nigerian government says it expects to receive about 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made this known during a briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday.
“The federal government has signed off to receive up to 29.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines through the African Union platform,” Mr Shuaib said.
He said Nigeria is also expecting more vaccines through the COVAX facility by the end of May or early June.
He said by then, the country would have completed the process of administering the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinated people.
Having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in early March, Nigeria commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers. Over one million people have since been vaccinated.
Mr Shuaib further explained that the vaccination against COVID-19 is still ongoing in all states of the federation.
He said the country has vaccinated 1,175,285 eligible Nigerians as of April 26, 2021. This represents 58.4 per cent of people eligible to receive the vaccines, he said.
“Our collaboration with health officials and other stakeholders at the national, state, LGA and community level in the vaccination exercise has yielded substantial result,” he said.
He also noted that the country is aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands.
This, he said, will further affect the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign in the country.
“We are aware of the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines due to high demands especially in countries where vaccines are being produced,” he said.
“We therefore anticipate a delay in vaccine supply to Nigeria which may also affect and impact the remaining phases of the vaccination campaign.”
Due to limited doses of vaccine available, the Nigerian government recently directed states to halt vaccination once they use half of the doses allocated to them.
The Nigerian government had said it plans to vaccinate 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.
Health authorities said only eligible population from 18 years and above will be vaccinated in four phases.
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine
The J&J COVID-19 single-dose vaccine is compatible with standard vaccine storage and distribution channels with ease of delivery to remote areas.
The vaccine is estimated to remain stable for two years at -4°F (-20°C), and a maximum of three months at routine refrigeration at temperatures of 36-46°F (2 to 8°C).
Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently suspended administering the J&J vaccine over six reported cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot. The suspension was later reversed.
This six cases occurred among women aged 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
The suspension was, however, lifted but with a warning about the potential for extremely rare blood clots, the BBC reported.
European regulators this month also linked similar, highly unusual blood clots to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot, but found that the benefits of the drug outweighed any risks.
EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.
Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.
“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.
Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.
He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.
The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.
“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.
The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.
Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea
President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.
Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.
The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.
The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.
The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.
Senate Passes Bills To Establish Two Federal Universities in Ekiti, Nasarawa states
The Senate on Tuesday passed two bills seeking to establish two federal universities in Ekiti and Nasarawa States.
The bills are the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State (Establishment) Bill, 2021, and Federal University Lafia Teaching Hospital (Establishment) Bill, 2021.
Both bills are sponsored by Senators Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central), and Tanko Al-Makura (APC, Nasarawa South).
The passage of both bills followed the presentation and consideration of two separate reports by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central), in his presentation, said the bill to establish the Federal University of Lafia Teaching Hospital was “necessitated as a result of the precarious health conditions faced by the resident.”
According to him, the bill to establish the Federal University of Health and Medical Sciences Iyin, Ekiti State, seeks to promote and emphasize teaching, research and extension of knowledge in the field of medicine and environmental sciences.
In a related development, the Senate on Wednesday passed a third bill to amend the University Teaching Hospitals (Reconstitution of Boards) Act.
The bill’s passage by the upper chamber followed consideration of a report by the Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).
Senator Oloriegbe in his presentation explained that the amendment bill seeks to amend the First Schedule to the Principal Act to include the University Teaching Hospital, Lafia and Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital.
In a related development, a bill seeking to establish the Federal College of Education, Kaiama, Kwara State, scaled second reading during plenary.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North).
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, after the bill was considered, referred it to the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND.
The Committee which is chaired by Senator Ahmad Baba Kaita was given four weeks to report back to the upper chamber.
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