FG expects 3.5 million Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from US, probes airport officials for extortion

Boss Mustapha

To ensure that all Nigerians are immunised against the COVID-19 virus, the Federal Government stated on Monday that it is expecting more than 3.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine from the United States as part of its vaccination drive to ensure that all Nigerians are immunised against the virus.

While this is going on, the government has begun an investigation into the actions of some airport personnel who have continued to extort money from inbound international passengers with the goal of assisting them in evading quarantine following the resurgence of Covid-19.

It was revealed during a press briefing in Abuja by Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Federal Government, who also serves as Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, who noted that significant progress has been made in the area of vaccines.

Besides the Pfizer vaccine that Nigeria expects to receive from the United States, Mustapha stated that Nigeria expects to receive 4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine on a monthly basis, in addition to one million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine.

He said,

Over 3.5 million doses of Pfizer are being expected from the US Government this month while about four million doses of AstraZeneca are being expected early next month,” he said.

Nigeria will be receiving over one million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) shipments on a monthly basis. The PSC is committed to accessing enough vaccines for the 70% eligible persons in the country in record time.”

Mustapha said the PSC is aware of the challenges being faced by travellers who visit the National International Travel Portal in compliance with travel protocols, lamenting that some airport staff were not diligent in the discharge of their duties with respect to the quarantine procedure.

He said,

‘’The PSC “has similarly noted with dismay, fraudulent activities perpetrated at our international airports by on-duty staff, who extort money out of those who equally wish to evade quarantine requirement.”

He explained that the authorities are conducting the necessary investigations into various reports received.

He added,

On the United Kingdom advisory on COVID-19 vaccines and changes to international travel rules, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria has stated that the UK government, of course, supports the vaccination programme in the country with vaccines irrespective of where they were manufactured.

They will, however, open up international travels using a standardised COVID-19 vaccination certification process, to allow for ease of travels from countries – Nigeria inclusive.”

The Federal Government began the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination exercise on August 16, 2021, using the 4 million doses of Modena vaccine donated by the United States government and the 177,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine received in the country through an agreement between the African Union and Afreximbank.

When asked about the drop in global cases, the PSC on Covid-19 stated that more prudence rather than overconfidence was required, especially in light of the Federal Government’s announcement of a plan to involve the private sector in COVID-19 vaccinations.

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