The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says Nigeria is making efforts to get the coronavirus vaccines from China.
He said this on Saturday in an interview with journalists in Abuja.
This is coming after the World Health Organisation (WHO) disqualified Nigeria’s bid for failing to meet the standard requirement to store the COVID-19 vaccines at the required -70 degrees Celsius.
The WHO’s Director of African Region, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, said during a virtual press conference on Friday that only four African countries were shortlisted for the Pfizer vaccine out of the 13 that applied.
But Onyeama said Nigeria will get vaccines from China, one of its strategic partners, and from other countries, by the end of February.
He said: “I think in the short immediate time that is an area we will need China,” he said.
“They have cooperated with us with regards to personal protective equipment 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, where there 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,” Onyeama said.