President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo will pick dates on which they will be publicly vaccinated, with the first batch of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is about four million doses, expected to arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib made this known at the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja.
According to Shuaib, “the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, would liaise with other key strategic persons to fix the date for the public vaccination aimed at protecting Nigerians against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He said, “I once again assure Nigerians that all necessary safety and quality control measures have been put in place for the arrival, storage and successful administration of the vaccine in the country. There is going to be a small ceremony, chaired by the Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, to receive the vaccine at the VIP Protocol section, General Aviation Terminal of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
At the end of the ceremonies to mark the arrival of the vaccines, a few vials of the vaccines would be handed over to the NAFDAC team for analysis over a period of two days (Wednesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 4th).”
He stressed further that, On Monday, March 8th, 2021, more vaccination sites would have been set up at designated locations such as National Assembly Clinic, State House Clinic and Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, where strategic leaders such as the SGF, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, the Ministers and Ministers of States, Senators, House of Representatives, traditional leaders and religious leaders would be vaccinated.
After this launch and initial roll-out phase, vaccine distribution to the states for the first phase vaccination process will begin. This phase is the vaccination of all frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders.
He added that, once activities have commenced in the states, there would be strict monitoring by PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA and independent bodies such as EFCC, DSS, ICPC, and Civil Society Organisations. States/health facilities/health workers that are identified as defaulting from the standard protocol and guidelines for this phase of vaccination would be sanctioned.
“While the first phase is ongoing, the national team would be ready for the arrival of the next batch of vaccines which would be used for the next phase of vaccination. Phase 2 vaccination process involves vaccination of the elderly from 50 years and above. This has been sub-grouped into 2, with the vaccination of 60 and above occurring first followed by 50 – 59 years. This will occur across all 36 States and the FCT. Those who are eligible for vaccination that have not registered electronically would be assisted at the designated health facility and would be vaccinated.
“Phase 3 vaccination process involves vaccination of those between 18 and 49 years with co-morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, lung disease, other heart diseases, liver or renal disease, etc). Individuals at ages 50 and above with co-morbidities would already have been immunized within their age group.
”The phase 4 vaccination process would involve vaccination of the rest of the eligible population between the ages 18 and 49 years. It is worthy to note that at each phase of vaccination, the level of preparedness of the states are assessed before vaccines are deployed and accountability measures have been put in place to ensure strict compliance to the vaccination process. Pregnant women will be evaluated by their health providers to weigh the benefit versus risk, before a decision is taken to vaccinate them.”
According to him, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, launched the indigenous T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination and Electronic Management of Immunisation Data system on Monday. This is to ensure safe and effective vaccination of prioritized and eligible Nigerians against COVID-19.
He maintained that, the launching, through a unique link available on NPHCDA website, Twitter handle, Facebook and Instagram, they’ve have commenced electronic self-registration of health workers. “This will enable us to avoid crowding at vaccination posts as the registered health workers will be scheduled and reminded of their vaccination date via sms and email,” he said.
He, however, urged all eligible Nigerians aged 18 years and above ”to be patient as they would eventually vaccinate them”.