By Joyce Remi-Babayeju
As a way of slowing down and interrupting the transmission of the COVID-19 outbreak across the country the Federal Government is set to import the first consignment of 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine into the country by the end of January, 2021.
This was disclosed at a virtual meeting organized by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, with the media yesterday.
Chairman of the Technical Working Group for the COVID-19 vaccine and Director of Disease Control and Immunization at NPHCDA, Dr Bassey Okposen disclosed that the 100,000 doses of the BioN Tech- Pfizer COVID19 will arrive the country by the end of January and would commence the first set of vaccination of Nigerians by March, 2021
Okposen said, the COVAX vaccine, which is preferred by Nigerian Government would be introduced into the country by NPHCDA in four phases due to available quantity.
He explained that the vaccine use is going to be prioritized in the order of health workers, the elderly, people with co- morbid conditions like diabetes, hypertension and so on.
In 2021, 84,655 people to be vaccinated and in 2022 an additional 65 million Nigerians to be immunized.
According to him, government is targeting 50,000 health workers during the first phase of immunization, adding that each person is required be administered two doses and the second dose will be administered 21 days after the first dose.
He said that the country is working very hard to ensure that the vaccines and will undergo the World Health Organization’s (WHO) pre-qualification and NAFDAC certification before they can be used.
There would be accountability in the use of the vaccines which have 95% efficacy and it will be give free of charge.
Health workers will be properly trained on how to administer the vaccine.
We need to let our people know that the Nigerian government will not do anything that is harmful to Nigerians and appealed to Nigerians not to reject the vaccines when they arrive into the country.
Speaking on the caseloads of infections recorded so far in the country, Professor Oyewale Tomori, an Epideomoligist said that the real number is way above those tested in the country, adding that the number announced is a tip of the iceberg.
Observing protocols is to stop the virus from spreading, the COVID-19 situation in Nigeria is very serious, Tomori noted.