The federal government is in talks with some countries and other strategic partners to get COVID-19 vaccines into Nigeria by end of February 2021.
Minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this in a recent interview with newsmen in Abuja.
The minister said Nigeria intends to purchase vaccines from China.
“What we are engaging with China is in the area of vaccines for COVID-19, so we are also looking to import, to acquire significant vaccines from China and other partners too,” he said.
“I think in the short immediate time that is an area we will need China. They have cooperated with us with regards to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other things in our COVID response.
“So we are now at the stage of the vaccine and we are hoping that we can get some support from them in that area.
“There are different ways we are expecting to get the vaccines. There is the bilateral way as a country that we are negotiating.
“Then we have the framework of the African Union collectively as a continent, they are also engagements to receive vaccine.
“The African Union has made some headway, more than 400 million as what has been agreed to. So we were hoping that at the end of January we would have started receiving the vaccines. But I think almost certainly by the middle of February we should have started receiving.”
In January 2021, when Wang Yi, Chinese foreign minister, visited Nigeria, the federal government opened discussions with China to have access to its COVID-19 vaccines.
Currently, the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines are CoronaVac, developed by Beijing-based Sinovac; and Sinopharm, a Chinese state-owned company, which is developing two of these vaccines.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reports that the country has 137,654 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 1,641 fatalities; 111,639 discharged patients; and currently has 24,374 active coronavirus cases.