Buhari, Osinbajo, others to take COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday

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The Federal Government has said that key strategic leaders will receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, March 6.

The Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in the country on Tuesday from India.

Faisal had on January 7 this year, said that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and other prominent Nigerians will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on live television.

According to him, this is to help drive awareness on the virus and the vaccine administration in the country when it finally arrived and urged Nigerians not to be hesitant on the vaccines.

But speaking at the Monday’s briefing, Faisal said that the first batch of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is about 3,924,000 doses, is expected to arrive in Nigeria Tuesday, 2 March 2021 at 11:10am.

He assured 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.

According to him, there is going to be a mini 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.

He said that 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 which they will analyse over a period of two days (Wednesday March 3 and Thursday March 4).

“Further to the clearance by NAFDAC, the PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA and strategic leaders will be at the treatment center of the National Hospital on Friday March 5th 2021, where the first vaccination site will be set up to commence the vaccination of the frontline health workers and support staff.

These Staff would also be electronically registered in the Covid-19 vaccine database and would receive their COVID-19 vaccination card which has a QR code that can be verified worldwide. On Saturday, March 6th, Key Strategic leaders will receive the first dose of the vaccine,” Faisal said.

He added that on Monday March 8th 2021, more vaccination sites would have been set up at designated locations like National Assembly clinic, State House clinic and Federal Medical Centre, Jabi where strategic leaders like 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 (members), traditional leaders and religious leaders would be vaccinated.

According to him, there is going to be a mini 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.

He said that 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 which they will analyse over a period of two days (Wednesday March 3 and Thursday March 4).

“Further to the clearance by NAFDAC, the PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA and strategic leaders will be at the treatment center of the National Hospital on Friday March 5th 2021, where the first vaccination site will be set up to commence the vaccination of the frontline health workers and support staff.

These Staff would also be electronically registered in the Covid-19 vaccine database and would receive their COVID-19 vaccination card which has a QR code that can be verified worldwide. On Saturday, March 6th, Key Strategic leaders will receive the first dose of the vaccine,” Faisal said.

He added that on Monday March 8th 2021, more vaccination sites would have been set up at designated locations like National Assembly clinic, State House clinic and Federal Medical Centre, Jabi where strategic leaders like 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 (members), traditional leaders and religious leaders would be vaccinated.

He said, “After this launch and initial roll-out phase, vaccine distribution to the states for the phase 1 vaccination process will begin. This phase is the vaccination of all frontline health workers, their supporting staff and strategic leaders. Deployment of vaccines to the States would be based on the assessment of their level of preparedness.

“Some of the parameters that would be used for the assessment include adequate maintenance of their cold chain storage facilities, adequate preparation for logistic transportation to the ward/ health facility, adequate security in place during transportation and at vaccination sites, completion of training of health workers, efficient social mobilization activities in place, adherence to protocol for vaccine deployment.”