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Reuters

Nigeria expects to take delivery of 29 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in August, allowing it to ramp up its vaccination programme just as a third wave of infections takes hold, the health minister said.

Africa’s most populous country has recorded close to 171 000 cases of the virus and 2 132 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to official data.

The government had announced in March it was hoping to secure 70 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine this year through an African Union programme, with an initial batch of 30 million to be delivered in the third quarter.

Health Minister Osagie Ehanire told reporters that the single-dose vaccine would be “advantageous” for Nigeria given its partly nomadic population and weak systems for keeping track of people and arranging for second doses.

Ehanire said Nigeria was also expecting 4 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, 700 000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and an unspecified quantity of Pfizer and Sinopharm doses. He said all of those were expected in the third quarter.

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