A surge in COVID-19 cases in Africa's most populous nation preceded the arrival of the first shipment of vaccines on March 2. The 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were greeted with relief by UNICEF Nigeria’s country representative, Peter Hawkins. “After a year of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, today we celebrate the efforts being made in getting the vaccine to Nigeria. With more than 150,000 Nigerians infected with the virus and over 1,800 lives lost, the path to recovery for the people of Nigeria can finally begin.” The delivery was among the first of 600 million doses destined for Africa in 2021 via the COVAX Facility, with 16 million earmarked for Nigeria.
On March 5, in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, Dr. Cyprian Ngong, above left, became the first male health worker to receive his COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinated by Dr Faisal Shuaib, National Primary Health Care Development Agency executive director, Ngong has been working in the isolation center of Nigeria’s National Hospital since March 2020.
Top photo: Mobile medical teams like this one, on its way to a hard-to-reach settlement in northwest Nigeria’s Kebbi State, are UNICEF’s secret weapon. They can get emergency supplies, like COVID-19 vaccines, to even the most far-flung places.