Nigeria on Tuesday took delivery of 3.92 million doses of Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII). The vaccine touched down at the Abuja airport under the Covax scheme of GAVI.
A statement from the Indian Embassy stated that Covishield vaccine is the first Covid-19 vaccine approved by NAFDAC, and is the first lot of vaccines to reach Nigeria. Also, Covidshield is among the single largest consignments of vaccines shipped out of India and Nigeria is among the first few countries in Africa to receive the vaccine.
The embassy also disclosed that India will be gifting 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria shortly, and 200,000 doses to UN peacekeepers, that include many African military personnel.
High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Abhay Thakur who spoke during the delivery, stated that the supply of vaccines to Nigeria is in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment, made at the UNGA in September 2020, that ‘India’s vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help humanity in fighting Covid-19.’
“India-Nigeria ties are ageold, based on close friendship and mutual trust. The arrival of Covid-19 vaccines in Nigeria marks yet another milestone in our bilateral relations.
“India has been at the forefront of the global fight against the pandemic and supports a collective approach in this battle.
“Guided by this philosophy, India, as the Pharmacy of the World, has supplied millions of doses of vaccines to many countries spread across the globe.
“As on 1 March 2021 India has supplied 36.369 million doses of Made-in-India vaccines to 36 countries and will be supplying to another 15 countries soon,” the High Commissioner said.
The embassy quoted India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar at a UNSC meeting on 17 February 2021, saying India’s approach and called for ‘vaccine internationalism’.
“India’s commitment to deploy its capabilities for the health and well-being of the entire humanity is not limited to vaccine supply alone, and it has provided critical medicines, ventilators and PPE kits to more than 150 countries, including Nigeria, Benin and Chad,” it stated.