Nigeria begins COVID-19 vaccination today

Buhari, Osinbajo get jabs Saturday

…Governors on Mar 10

Nigeria will commence the vaccination against COVID-19 today (Friday), the Federal Government said two days after it received the first batch of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, announced this on Thursday at a presidential briefing held at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He revealed that the government would kick-off the exercise at the National Hospital in Abuja where the frontline health workers there would be the first set of people to be vaccinated.

Shuaib also hinted that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, would also take their vaccine shots a day after the health workers were administered the vaccines.

Although he noted that the actual time for the inoculation of the two leaders would be communicated soon, he disclosed that members of the Federal Executive Council would be vaccinated on Monday.

They include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, and ministers among others.

According to the NPHCDA boss, an improved percentage of 50 per cent of Nigerians have indicated willingness to be vaccinated while 25 per cent remain hesitant.

He insisted that the vaccines would not be deployed to any state that has not fulfilled its preparedness criteria.

Meanwhile, state governors and their deputies are to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, March 10.

The Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti, Dr Kayode Fayemi, disclosed this at a virtual news conference on Thursday.

Fayemi said that the vaccination was part of resolutions made by the governors during an emergency virtual meeting held on Thursday.

The NGF chairman read a communique issued by the governors at the end of the meeting.

He said that the vaccination would be done publicly.

Fayemi said the governors would enlighten more Nigerians on the need to take the vaccine, which, he said, was safe.

He expressed the governors’ commitment to work with the Federal Government to ensure that the required cold chain would be set up for the vaccine.

The governor encouraged citizens to use the e-registration portal on the National Primary Health Care Development Agency website – nphcsaict.com.ng/publicreg – to register for vaccination.

He said that Boss Mustapha, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, at the meeting, briefed the governors on the 3.92 million doses of the vaccine received by Nigeria on Tuesday.

He disclosed that the leadership and frontline health workers would be the first to receive the vaccine as from March 6, beginning with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Fayemi gave the assurance that the vaccine was researched to be safe for persons up to 18 years.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire; Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu; Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, and other medical experts.

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