Policy Brief on COVID-19 Vaccine Management in Nigeria
On 2 March 2021, Nigeria received nearly 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped via the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility, a partnership between Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI), United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and WHO. The arrival of the vaccine in Nigeria and other countries in Africa marks a historic step towards ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The distribution of the vaccine will advance the efforts invested in minimising the threat of the virus and mitigating its effects on all aspects of life. This is amidst global politics regarding the COVID-19 vaccines as countries adopt more protectionist policies in the management of vaccine distribution.
The delivery of the vaccine in Nigeria is part of the phased arrivals in Nigeria that will continue in the coming days and weeks. COVAX shipped 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from Mumbai to Abuja. However, it comes with certain responsibilities on the government which remain major points of debates as Nigeria receives the first batch of vaccine and begins vaccination. These points of debate include; the ability and capacity of Governments and policymakers to ensure equitable access to the vaccines, adequate logistics to facilitate distribution, fair and inclusive vaccination, as well as getting the buy-in of the people on the COVID-19 vaccine. These are important issues for consideration with the official commencement of Abuja’s vaccination programme on March 2, 2021.