By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria is expected to get 70 million Johnson and Johnson (J&J) single-shot COVID-19 vaccines, following the African Union deal with the drugmaker for 400 million vaccine doses.
This was disclosed by the head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, in an interview with Reuters, noting that the vaccines will come in batches with an initial 30 million J&J vaccines to be delivered in July.
“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to get up to 70 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson this year. This is yet to be finalised but these are some of the advanced conversations that are going on between Nigeria and the African Union,” he said.
He also disclosed that there was the possibility that the vaccine option, which is single-shot, may replace the AstraZeneca-Oxford variant due to constraints to its vaccine value chain.
“Some of the allocations that we were supposed to get for the AstraZeneca will be replaced by the Johnson and Johnson,” Dr Faisal said.
Business Post had on Monday reported that the American pharmaceutical giant is set to provide up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to African countries.
J&J through its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceutica, had entered into an agreement with the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) to initially make available up to 220 million doses of its vaccine to the continent.
AVAT can order an additional 180 million doses for a combined total of up to 400 million doses through 2022.
J&J says its vaccine candidate protects against COVID-19 in broad geographical regions — including those with new variants of the virus.
In a global trial of almost 40,000 people, the J&J vaccine’s efficacy against the severe disease was 85.4 per cent, but it fell to 66.1 per cent when including moderate forms of the disease.
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