Nigeria has received 2 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from Finland, Greece and Slovenia, with more EU donations set to arrive in the coming weeks, government officials said on Monday.
The delivery is part of a donation pledge by the European Union to African countries via the COVAX initiative launched by the World Health Organization in 2020 to distribute vaccines to some of the world’s poorest people.
Samuela Isopi, the European Union ambassador to Nigeria, said more doses would arrive in the coming weeks.
The vaccines are currently in a cold room at the airport of the west African nation’s capital, Abuja.
“This batch of vaccines will expire in August 2023. So we have that ample time to administer before that time,” Faisal Shuaib, executive director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), told reporters at an airport news conference.
The shelf life for the vaccines is the longest yet that Nigeria has received.
The government in December said it would have to destroy about 1 million donated vaccine doses after they had expired.
The country had been accepting vaccines with short shelf lives from international donor nations in an attempt to use them quickly and provide some level of protection for Nigerians due to vaccine scarcity in the past.