Half a million Covid-19 vaccines donated from Ireland arrived in Nigeria today.
t is the first consignment of vaccines donated by Ireland that have been delivered through the COVAX facility.
COVAX was established as the collaborative mechanism to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines everywhere, and with a particular emphasis upon improving access for low- and middle-income countries.
It is co-led by Gavi- the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The 500,000 vaccines that have been delivered from Ireland are the single-dose Janssen vaccine.
The vaccination rate in Nigeria is currently below 2pc.
The WHO said a global vaccination rate of 70pc is needed by mid-2022 if we are to stem the spread of the disease and reduce the risk of further mutations in the virus.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said it’s Ireland’s second significant vaccine donation in recent months after it delivered 300,000 vaccines to Uganda.
“I welcome the first deliveries of vaccine doses donated through the COVAX process,” he said.
“This significant donation of 500,000 vaccines to Nigeria represents Ireland’s continued commitment to universal access to Covid-19 vaccines and their fair and equitable distribution as we work together to bring this global pandemic under control.”
Through COVAX, Ireland has committed to sharing 1.3 million Covid-19 doses of vaccine and €7 million in financial support.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said further vaccine donations through the COVAX facility will be made in the coming weeks.
Minister for Overseas Development Aid Colm Brophy said everyone should access to a vaccine “no matter where they live”.
He added: “Improving the numbers of people vaccinated worldwide is essential to getting
the pandemic under control.
“Ireland has a longstanding relationship with Nigeria and we are happy to support their efforts to keep their people safe.”