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France donates 501,600 doses of Astrazeneca vaccines to Nigeria

Nigeria has received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the French government through the COVAX facility.

Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who received the vaccines at the National Strategic Cold Store in Abuja, observed that the donation of the vaccines to Nigeria demonstrates France’s faith in Nigeria’s potential to be a proactive and forward-thinking partner in the global fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that Nigeria was one of the first African countries to get vaccines from the French government, adding that France has not only been a reliable development partner for Nigeria but has also been quite fraternal in all directions.

Shuaib stated that Nigeria’s vaccine storage facilities have remained efficient and properly maintained, adding that standards have never been compromised in the logistics requirements for effective management and utilisation of all COVID-19 vaccines available in the country.

He stated that the Federal Government had put in place the essential safeguards 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.

Earlier, French Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Jerome Pasquier, commended the efforts of the Federal Government at addressing the pandemic through procurement of vaccines and distributing them across the country.

He said he was happy 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, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Walter Mulombo, stressed the need for Nigerians to get vaccinated to meet the new target of 40 per cent benchmark by December 2021.

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