Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ohanire, has said the country will receive 10 million doses of coronavirus vaccine in March.
In a statement on Thursday, the minister said the 10 million doses were in addition to 100,000 expected doses of Pfizer vaccine.
However, the statement did not specify the type of vaccine the 10 million doses would be or if the batch would be financed by the African Union or as part of COVAX, which links the World Health Organisation with private partners to work for pooled procurement and equitable distribution.
Nigeria has officially reported some 104,000 COVID-19 cases, out of which 1,382 have been fatal. The country has a population of around 200 million so the reported COVID-19 figures are believed to be lower than the true situation, especially with its low testing.
With the second wave of the pandemic, cases have risen sharply since the end of November, notably in the economic capital Lagos, a city of about 20 million people.
The death rate has also increased.
A variant strain of coronavirus has been discovered in recent months but it remains unclear whether it is more contagious or deadly.
The authorities recently announced that they hope to vaccinate 40 percent of the population in the year 2021.
But the challenges of transporting and storing vaccines for many millions of people are enormous in a country where adequate hospital facilities are lacking.