Fed Govt begins distribution of COVID-19 vaccine to states

The federal government has commenced the movement of AstraZeneca vaccine to all the states of the federation.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said at the media briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 yesterday in Abuja that the distribution of the vaccine would be completed today.

According to him, the federal government is designating Vaccine Accountability Officers (VAOs) in the states and local government areas to closely monitor the management and utilisation of the vaccine as well as ensure retrievals of vaccine vials for proper disposal.

Shuaib assured the nation that adequate provisions have been made to deploy the vaccines in all the states and vaccination sites where people will be vaccinated.

He stated that the state launch of the COVID-19 vaccination for frontline health workers is slated for today while governors will launch the vaccination tomorrow. Also, the statewide rollout of COVID-19 vaccine will commence from March 12.

“It is expected that states will roll out vaccination only when local government areas have met the minimum criteria for successful conduct of the campaigns. Parameters such as – training, cold chain status, preposition of data tools, availability of transport/logistics for healthcare workers, adequate security for vaccines, etc should be the yardsticks for going ahead with implementation,” he said.

However, the federal government mandated the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to take necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations against Emirates Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for stopping regular flights into the country after the federal government declined their request to subject Nigerian passengers to COVID-19 rapid antigen test four hours before departure.

Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the federal government had also petitioned the United Arab Emirates and The Netherlands over the airlines’ attitude. – Thisday.

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