Vaccination of Nigerians against the COVID-19 pandemic has commenced.

At the end of Tuesday, the 3.9 million AstraZenaca vaccine doses received last week would have been distributed in all the 36 states, the Presidential Task Force said on Monday.

Ogun State got 50,000 doses on Monday, the first batch of the 100,000 allotted to the state.

Health workers in states are slated to receive vaccine jabs today. Governors will tomorrow inaugurate general vaccination for citizens in their states.

On Saturday President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo received jabs of the vaccine.

Mustapha said the objective of the Federal Government is to vaccinate about 70 per cent of 200 million Nigerians by the end of next year.

A total of 127 million vaccine doses are expected. The next batch of 16 million will be delivered next month, according to the Presidential Task Force (PTF).

Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, explained that the roll out of vaccines for citizens will be on Friday.

He said: “What this means is that COVID-19 programme has commenced in Nigeria. It is important to stress that the President and other strategic leaders received their vaccines from the same four million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines delivered to Nigeria last week.
“There is no difference between the vaccines received by the President and the vaccines that will be administered to other eligible Nigerians.

“It is our belief that this public and practical endorsement of the vaccine will build the trust, courage, and motivate the general public in the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccines during the campaigns.

“As previously mentioned, in preparation for the campaigns, the Presidential Task Force, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and in collaboration with donors and development partners, developed operation and training manuals for over 100,000 health workers at national, states and local governments, at health facility levels for the seamless deployment of the vaccine to the designated populations.

“The movement of the vaccines to the states commenced today (yesterday). All things being equal, the delivery of the vaccines will be completed tomorrow (today). The delivery of the vaccines to the state is predicated on satisfactorily meeting the conditions to keep them safe and potent.

“We have designated vaccine accountability offices in the states and the local government areas to closely monitor the management and utilisation of the vaccines. The vaccines and accountability officers will ensure retrieval of vaccines valves/verse for proper disposals. The post-vaccination disposal process of the verse is equally as important as the vaccination process itself and we urge states and local governments to keep a close watch on this process.

“As you may recall, we officially launched our home grown T.E.A.C.H strategy electronic registration of our citizens for the vaccination programme. This is the first time in our immunisation programme that the target population will be pre-registered for efficient and orderly scheduling of dates and time to receive the vaccine, which will be carried out in phases, according to predetermined classifications.

“All persons 18 years and above, beginning with the frontline health workers and the elderly are therefore, encouraged to register for vaccination through our COVID-19 vaccinations e-registration portal, which is available on our website – www.nphcda .gov.ng.”

He added: “In addition, the media and all stakeholders involved in this crucial public health intervention, should do all that they can to promote the e-registration under the electronic immunization data management scheme, as this structure will be further deployed for further public health interventions.”

Members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF): Boss Mustapha; Lai Mohammed; Dr Osagie Ehanire; Geoffrey Onyeama; Dr Mohammed Abubakar; Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu; Dr. Shuaib, Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Walter Kazadi, and journalists at the briefing received their first jabs of the vaccines.

Mustapha said many Nigerians that are eligible for vaccination will get the vaccines at their doorsteps.

He admonished Nigerians to take the vaccine as it will protect them, their loved ones and the entire community.

“Let me restate that Nigerians should never allow vaccines hesitancy propagated through conspiracy theories sway them from the path of doing the right thing. Taking the vaccines will protect you, your loved ones and the entire community.

“I similarly wish to warn against patronising unauthorised vaccines peddlers. The only recognised safe and efficacious vaccines are those coming through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). We should remain vigilant,” he added.

Mustapha said the PTF had mandated the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to take necessary reciprocal measures against KLM and the Emirates over pre-departure testing requirements that passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria.”

He added: “For over a month, Nigeria has been engaged with the authorities of KLM and the Emirates over pre-departure testing requirements passengers should meet before travelling from Nigeria. The PTF has mandated the Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA to take necessary reciprocal measures as may be permissible under the laws and other international obligations which we are expected to discharge.”

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