The federal government has secured the first batch of 100,000 Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines for frontline healthcare workers in Nigeria.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) made this known on Friday.
Dr Shuaib said the 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected in the country by the end of January, 2021.
He also said millions of other doses that will cover 20% of the Nigerian population will come in March.
Speaking live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Good Morning Nigeria show, the ED of the NPHCDA also said the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) will, irrespective of other foreign certifications, carry out due diligence and certify the vaccines good enough before they would be used.
“100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected in the country by the end of January, 2021.
“We are prioritising our health workers. When the vaccine arrives, 100,000 will go to the front line workers.
“The first batch of 100,000 will be here in January. Millions of other doses that will cover 20% of the population will come in March.
“Our focus is to get vaccines that our cold chain can manage. We have the ultra cold chain to keep them potent.
“We have invested in cold chain equipments. We are aware the Covac Facility will bring additional vaccines that will work more in our environment.
“We are also generating a more comprehensive database of such workers. There is a comprehensive deployment plan. We are identifying priorities especially those that work directly with patients and we have a list of these individuals that work across the country.
“For us in the health sector, we must put in the effort and push the drive for vaccine. We must also listen to people and empathise with their concerns with continuous sensitization.
“We are working with a regulatory agency — NAFDAC, irrespective of other foreign certification of the vaccine. There must be due diligence.
“When the vaccines come, NAFDAC has to go through the assessment and processes to certify it good enough for Nigerians.
“The leadership of NAFDAC is very important. They will work with WHO to certify the vaccines. We have competent Nigerians that can do the job,” Dr Shuaib said.
Meanwhile, in a bid to encourage Nigerians to get inoculated, the ED had said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will receive their COVID-19 vaccine doses on live television.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha will also receive the vaccine on live telecast in a move the government hopes will help drive awareness.