ABUJA, 19 January 2021 – Nigeria has requested 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from the African Union (AU) from the 270 million vaccine doses the AU has secured for the continent.

The 10 million vaccine doses from the AU are expected to be delivered next March, Nigeria’s health minister, Osagie Ehanire, told a media briefing in the capital, Abuja.

In an earlier announcement, the minister said the first 100,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine bought Nigeria will be delivered by the end of January.

Nigeria's health minister Osagie Ehanire on Twitter

Nigeria’s health minister Osagie Ehanire on Twitter

Nigeria has began work on producing the vaccines locally, allocating $26 million for the endeavor, according to Ehanire.

Abuja is in talks with manufacturers, the minister added.

The Nigerian government says it hopes to vaccinate 40 percent of the country’s 200 million inhabitants by the end of the year.

Scientists estimate that between 70 and 90 percent of the population needs to be inoculated for herd immunity to be achieved, assuming that lasting immunity is even possible.

Public health experts caution that herd immunity, in the case of COVID-19, may only be achieved with full inoculation.

Schools across Nigeria reopened Monday despite rising new coronavirus cases..

Social Distancing an unaffordable luxury - The Nigerian Statesman

Social distancing is a luxury not all can afford – Photo The Nigerian Statesman

The resumption was against the advice of legislators and, hardly 24 hours after, Abuja is warning that they may be shutdown if infection levels continue on the upward swing.

Nigeria has recorded more than 112,000 cases (1,617 cases on Monday alone) with 1,449 deaths (14 on Monday).

Some 89,939 people in Nigeria have fully recovered from the virus.

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