President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other top officials will receive their COVID-19 vaccination tomorrow.
Governors will receive theirs on Wednesday.
The 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out from the National Hospital Abuja today.
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, told reporters after the second State House weekly ministerial briefing that the officials would take the vaccine publicly to increase confidence in it and overcome hesitancy.
He said a study revealed that 50 per cent of Nigerians would take the vaccine.
He said priority would be given to frontline health workers, the elderly and the vulnerable.
“After we get our strategic leaders to publicly demonstrate that these vaccines are safe, the plan is to now go to the state level to start the launch at the treatment centres and also get strategic leaders such as governors to publicly take the vaccines.
“By the time all of these happen, we would have finished all of the necessary preparations. We would have created a dashboard that will track very carefully the status of the preparedness of the states,” he said.
National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC) Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said since the arrival of the vaccine on Tuesday, the agency has been carrying out series of checks on its efficacy.
She warned that falsified COVID-19 vaccines were already in the global market.
“That’s why NAFDAC is focusing on track-and-trace, to ensure no infiltration of substandard vaccines in the supply chain.
“Traceability is very important; we can trace the vaccines from the airport to the patient,” Adeyeye said.
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, debunked the notion that Nigeria is relying on charity to vaccinate the population against COVID-19.
According to him, Nigeria joined 52 African countries to open an account with Afreximbank to procure 570 million doses of vaccines for the continent, out of which the country is expecting to receive between 80 and 85 million doses.
“Now, we are looking to immunise 70 per cent to have what is known as herd immunity. The African Union and the African Centre for Disease Control recognised that.
“Went to the president of the AU and said we must set up something to support ourselves. So, 52 countries in Africa came together. Out of 55, 52 came together and joined in the AVATT – Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team, to make a bulk order.
“The first bulk order they made was for 270 million doses, which immediately will impress any manufacturer.
“So, the manufacturers are impressed and they are ready to produce that vaccine with as much priority as possible.”
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