The four million Moderna vaccine doses donated by the United States have arrived in Nigeria to help beat the coronavirus, the U.S. Embassy in Abuja said in a statement on Monday.
The donated vaccines are part of the U.S. pledge to initially provide at least 25 million of the 80 million doses globally to Africa.
“The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is pleased to announce the arrival in Nigeria of four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as part of the United States’ global efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” the U.S. Mission said.
At a hand-over ceremony, Chargé d’Affaires Kathleen FitzGibbon delivered the shipment to Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chair of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Boss G. Mustapha, Dr. Faisal Shuaib and members of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19.
The U.S. government coordinated closely with the African Union, Africa CDC, and COVAX on the country allocations, while COVAX supported delivery of the vaccine doses, which arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Sunday.
The U.S. Mission said “the donation of these safe and effective vaccines will help protect the Nigerian people from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic and begin reducing barriers to building back the country’s economy.”
“This donation, like many other health and humanitarian assistance programs offered from the American people over the years reinforce the strong cooperation between our two governments” said Chargé d’Affaires Kathleen Fitzgibbon. Since the onset of the pandemic, the United States has provided Nigeria more than $73 million in COVID-19 assistance and will continue to support Nigeria’s prevention and response efforts, both now and in the future. This includes the delivery of a mobile field hospital, epidemiological COVID-19 detection surveys, personal protective equipment, provision of rapid response teams, training of over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures, and technology transfer for virtual training.
“From the beginning of my presidency, we have been clear-eyed that we need to attack this virus globally as well,” President Biden has said. “This is about our responsibility — our humanitarian obligation to save as many lives as we can — and our responsibility to our values. We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic, working alongside our global partners.”