By Faith Nyasuguta
Nigeria has received some four million Moderna vaccine doses from the United States even as it battles wave three of the pandemic.
The doses were jetted in by two planes on Sunday and were received by United Nations officials on behalf of Nigeria at the Abuja airport.
This is the second consignment of Covid-19 jabs to be received into Africa’s most populated nation after another four million jabs in March under the Covax facility.
The Covax facility was established to enhance the equitable distribution of jabs, particularly to poor nations, and has so far distributed over 80 million jabs to 129 nations.
The nation hosting about 210 million people used the AstraZeneca jabs received in March to launch a countrywide vaccination program.
However, scientists have expressed worry over the highly infectious Delta variant saying it could pose a stumbling block to jab distribution.
“If wealthier countries begin requiring booster shots for fully-vaccinated people, it could slow shipments of urgently needed doses to developing nations,” they said.
In Nigeria alone, Covid-19 has killed some 2,149 people.
The country has also reported nearly 174,000 cases but the real figures are said to be way higher, partly because of low rates of testing.
In July, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it had detected the highly contagious Delta variant.
In June, Nigeria barred non-citizens and non-permanent residents from entering the nation if they had been in South Africa in the last 14 days.
The decision followed similar restrictions imposed on passengers traveling from Brazil, India, and Turkey.