Nigeria has suspended the nationwide rollout of the second batch of COVID-19 vaccines scheduled for Tuesday, Aug.10, a government official said.
Boss Mustapha who doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, disclosed the development in a statement by his spokesperson, Willie Bassey on Sunday, Aug. 8 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The SGF failed to give a detailed reason for the sudden postponement but said the decision was due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
In March, Nigeria began its first nationwide inoculation programme, with 2.5 million eligible persons receiving at least one dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 and 1.4 million people being fully vaccinated.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the inoculation programme of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine requires that a person receives two doses within two weeks of administration.
After exhausting the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine amidst a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Nigeria received a donation of 4.08 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the United States on Aug. 1.
The vaccine was received by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) on behalf of the federal government and stored at the country’s National Strategic Cold Store near Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
It was later approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for use.
The government said a new date for the vaccine rollout would be communicated “soon” after cancelling the Aug.10 schedule.
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