GENEVA: Nigeria is expecting its first 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines next week from the global COVAX vaccine programme for poor and middle-income countries, the head of the World Health Organization mission in Nigeria said on Friday (Feb 26).
Walter Kazadi Mulombo, WHO representative in Nigeria, told a briefing by video link that Nigeria was expecting 14 million doses in total.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, said the situation in Nigeria was so far much better than had been widely predicted early in the outbreak.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country with some 200 million people, has reported fewer than 1,900 COVID-19 deaths so far, and WHO officials at the briefing praised its response.
"The whole world expected the continent of Africa, and Nigeria with our social and economic realities, to basically fall apart," Ihekweazu told the briefing, also by video link.
He said seroprevalence studies in four Nigerian states had shown a larger number of mild cases, but that serious illness appeared to be rarer than feared, possibly in part because of the young average age of the population.
"Getting the vaccine into Nigeria will serve the continent well, will serve the world well," he said.