There are conversations online that the World Health Organisation (WHO) disqualified Nigeria from accessing the COVID-19 vaccine for her population.
This followed media reports of February 6, 2021 stating that WHO disqualified Nigeria, eight other countries from the global COVID-19 vaccine bid.
The reports put forward that the countries were disqualified for their inability to meet certain requirements.
The Punch’s report read:
The World Health Organisation-led COVAX global initiative has failed to shortlist Nigeria for the Pfizer vaccines following the country’s inability to meet the standard requirement of being able to store the vaccines at the required -70 degrees Celsius.
A Twitter handle @Instablog tweeted that “WHO has disqualified Nigeria from global vaccine bid”.
The tweet has generated many reactions.
WHO has disqualified Nigeria from the global vaccine bid.
Findings by the FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.
The FactCheckHub checks show that Nigeria is among the 92 countries that have as of 15 December 2020, submitted non-binding confirmations of intent to participate in the COVAX Facility and thereby signed commitment agreements to the Facility.
COVAX is a global initiative that was launched in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission and France in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project was targeted at bringing together governments, global health organisations, manufacturers, scientists, private sector, civil society and philanthropy, with the aim of providing innovative and equitable access to COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines.
The WHO Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, while clarifying the claim spreading tweeted that WHO is part of Covax facility and can never disqualify Nigeria, a participating member from accessing an approved vaccine. He wrote:
WHO is part of Covax facility and can never disqualify a Member State from accessing an approved vaccine for their population. I call upon members of the press in Nigeria and globally to contribute to fighting misinformation @WHONigeria.
The tweet was also retweeted by the verified Twitter handle of the WHO Nigeria office.
Similarly, Charity Warigon, the WHO Communications Officer in Nigeria stated that the news that WHO disqualified Nigeria from accessing an approved COVID-19 vaccine is not true.
“Demand for the initial allocation of 1.2 million Pfizer doses was exceptionally high. COVAX received interest from 72 countries around the world, of which 51 countries were considered by the review committee as “ready” (Nigeria was among these countries) and 18 countries in total were finally chosen to receive initial Pfizer doses,” Warigon told the FactCheckHub via a telephone conversation.
The claim that WHO disqualified Nigeria from the global vaccine bid is FALSE.