Nigeria, the country with the most population in Africa, today received nearly four million doses of a vaccine against Covid-19. The vaccines are funded by the Covax program, which aims to provide the poorest countries with a vaccine.
It concerns an initial lot of 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to arrive in Nigeria in the coming months. Authorities assure that from Friday, health care providers and people with high-risk occupations will be the first to act.
According to presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, the head of state and his deputy will also receive an injection on Saturday.
The country wants to vaccinate at least seventy per cent of its inhabitants over the age of eighteen in the next two years. This seems a very ambitious figure, given the enormous challenges that security and logistics pose in the immense country.
In addition, there are difficult weather conditions and challenging in the road network.
Shehu said cargo planes would ship the vaccines to all 36 states. States that do not have an airport will use cold room buses for transportation from the nearest airport.
Nigeria has already recorded a total of 156,017 infections and 1,915 deaths. These figures are even an underestimate, given the number of tests performed is low.
Moreover, a variant of the virus has surfaced in recent months. Research is still ongoing as to whether or not it is more contagious and deadly.