The Federal Government had on Monday announced that it is expecting more than 3.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine from the United States, as part of its vaccination drive to ensure all Nigerians get inoculated against the COVID-19 virus.

This is as the government has commenced the probe of some airport officials who continue to extort money from inbound international passengers with a view to helping them evade quarantine in the wake of the resurgence of Covid-19.

This disclosure was made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, while briefing journalists in Abuja, noting that notable progress is being made in the area of vaccines.

What the Chairman of the PSC on Covid-19 is saying

Mustapha said that in addition to the Pfizer vaccine expected from the US, Nigeria expects to receive 4 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine in addition to one million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines on monthly basis.

He said, “Over 3.5 million doses of Pfizer are being expected from the US Government this month while about four million doses of AstraZeneca are being expected early next month,” he said.

Nigeria will be receiving over one million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) shipments on a monthly basis. The PSC is committed to accessing enough vaccines for the 70% eligible persons in the country in record time.”

Mustapha said the PSC is aware of the challenges being faced by travellers who visit the National International Travel Portal in compliance with travel protocols, lamenting that some airport staff were not diligent in the discharge of their duties with respect to the quarantine procedure.

He said, ‘’The PSC “has similarly noted with dismay, fraudulent activities perpetrated at our international airports by on-duty staff, who extort money out of those who equally wish to evade quarantine requirement.”

He explained that the authorities are conducting the necessary investigations into various reports received.

He added, “On the United Kingdom advisory on COVID-19 vaccines and changes to international travel rules, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria has stated that the UK government, of course, supports the vaccination programme in the country with vaccines irrespective of where they were manufactured.

They will, however, open up international travels using a standardised COVID-19 vaccination certification process, to allow for ease of travels from countries – Nigeria inclusive.”

What you should know

The Federal Government had on August 16, 2021, commenced the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination exercise with the 4 million doses of Modena vaccine donated by the United States government and the 177,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine received in the country through the African Union and Afreximbank deal.

The PSC on Covid-19 had said that in spite of the decline in global cases, more caution is needed rather than over-confidence with the Federal Government announcing plan to involve the private sector in COVID-19 vaccination.