Nearly 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have arrived in Nigeria to crush COVID-19, see the company handling them at Abuja airport

Nearly 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday in an effort to crush the coronavirus and return life to normal. Nigeria is one of the first five countries in Africa to receive the long-awaited vaccine under the COVAX initiative.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum institute of India (SII), was shipped to the Nigerian capital, Abuja, from Mumbai, India.


The United Nations Country Team in Nigeria and COVAX announced the arrival of nearly 4 million (3.94 million) doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to Nigeria as part of the first round of vaccine allocations through the COVAX Facility.

“The arrival of these vaccines in Abuja today marks a milestone for the COVAX Facility in its unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021,” said Edward Kallon, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian-Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon 
The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian-Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon

Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of providing aviation Ground Handling for the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, reported on Wednesday that the vaccine doses were received in “a safe, efficient and seamless manner.”

“The First batch of the Vaccines which was received by the Nigerian Government was coordinated in a safe, efficient and seamless manner that SAHCO is known for,” the Nigerian company said in a statement.

The company added: “SAHCO is present in all the commercially operated airports in Nigeria which will make distribution of the vaccine effective and timely.

“Also, SAHCO has well trained staff with CEIV Certifications which qualifies SAHCO for handling of pharmaceuticals and fitted with well-conditioned warehouse storage facilities that can be regulated to meet the specific needs of any pharmaceuticals, making SAHCO the preferred choice for handling the much-needed vaccines.

“It is also important to note that SAHCO is equipped with cold rooms and freezers that is fitted with the latest technology of handling temperate sensitive Cargo devices that adapts to the required temperature of any shipment. These devices also known as Data Loggers are fitted with unique feature of the whole space, these temperatures are then closely monitored by SAHCO’s highly trained staff to identify any anomalies. The freezers which are below zero are adequate to handle the Covid-19 vaccines with huge capacities and any other temperature sensitive shipment.

“In addition, SAHCO provides effective transit Ground Handling Services to client airlines through the company’s ultra-modern transit warehouse which is also equipped with an effective cold-room that regulates perishables at their required specified temperature to avoid denaturing.”

Basil Agboarumi, Managing Director and CEO of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCO)

In a related development, SAHCO has acquired a new fleet of Sherpa tractors to boost its Ultra-modern fleet of Ground Handling Equipment so as to exceed customers’ expectations.  Sherpa tractor is a Goldhofer product that is headquartered in Germany and reputed for producing quality and durable Ground Equipment Products. The Sherpa tractors which have reputation of providing reliable support for a wide range of tasks is manufactured to be rugged, eco-friendly.

Similarly, animal lovers can now heave a sigh of relief as SAHCO has constructed a well-conditioned Animal Parlour for those who want to import or export animals through SAHCO warehouse in Lagos. The Animal Parlour is a well partitioned warehouse that is fitted with animal friendly temperature to prevent the animals from exhaustion before transition.

SAHCO is certified with RA3 and IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) which shows the high level of commitment to training, enabling  SAHCO to be a one stop shop .

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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