The French government through the COVAX facility has donated 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Nigeria.
The Guardian reports that Dr. Faisal Shuaib Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) received the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja.
According to him, the donation of the vaccines to Nigeria indicates France’s faith in Nigeria’s potential to be a proactive and forward-thinking partner in the global battle to terminate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shuaid remarked that Nigeria was one of the first African countries to get vaccines from the French government, reinforcing that France has not only been a credible development partner for Nigeria but has also been quite fraternal in all paths.
He further noted that Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have continued to be efficient and properly conserved, adding that standards have never been negotiated in the logistics requirements for effective management and utilisation of all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country.
He asserted that the Federal Government had put in place the essential precautions to ensure vaccine monitoring and accountability.
“We track utilisation of all COVID-19 vaccines in all the states of the federation and receive a daily report from our Senior Supervisors and State Immunisation Officers who are on the field to monitor the management and administration of the vaccines,” he said.
French Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier has earlier applauded the endeavors of the Federal Government at dealing with the pandemic through procurement of vaccines and administering them across Nigeria.
According to him, he was glad that the French government was donating over half a million doses of the vaccines to Nigeria and encouraged Nigerians yet to take the vaccines to do so.
“After three years in Nigeria, today happens to be my final assignment in Nigeria as I leave the country for France tomorrow, to begin my next assignment,” he disclosed.
The ambassador noted that Nigerians who have been fully vaccinated could freely visit France.
“If you have the proof of vaccination, that will be said you can go to France. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. You do not need to have a COVID-19 test when you are in France but with your certificate from Nigeria, you can get tested, which is required in some places around the world. So, both regulations apply to Nigerian nationals,” he added.
On his part,Dr. Walter Mulombo, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, emphasized the necessity for Nigerians to get vaccinated to fulfill the new target of 40 per cent standard by December 2021.