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COVID-19: FG commences COVID-19 vaccination

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By Ibeneme Ebelechukwu, Abuja

The federal government has announced its intentions to commence the vaccination of the first set of Nigerians with Covid-19 vaccine by the end of March, 2021.

About 100, 000 doses of BioNTech-Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be coming into the country before the end of January, 2021. Under the first phase of immunisation, government is targeting 50,000 health workers and each person is required be administered two doses and the second dose will be administered 21 days after the first dose.

Chairman of the Technical Working Group for the Covid-19 vaccine and the director, Disease Control and Immunization at the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Bassey Okposen, disclosed this during a virtual media engagement in Abuja.

According to him, the country is working very hard to ensure that the vaccines are available; adding that the vaccines will undergo the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) pre-qualification and NAFDAC certification before they can be used.

Okposen said that for the pre-arrival, a lot is ongoing to ensure safety of the vaccines; adding the national logistics working group is working to receive the vaccines and ensure they are safe and effective.

“There will be surveillance sites and most of the vaccines have been proven to have 95 percent efficacy. There are approaches to reach out to Nigerians to tell them that these vaccines are for their own benefits, out of good intentions of government.

“We will train health workers to be used for the vaccine. We will ensure that the vaccines are safe for Nigerians. We need to let our people know that the Nigerian government will not do anything that is harmful to Nigerians.”

He noted that it will take close to 10 years for Nigeria to achieve herd immunity, and appealed to Nigerians not to reject the vaccines when they arrive.

NAFDAC and all other relevant health agencies, including Nigeria Customs Service, will be issued two weeks of notice to the arrival of the vaccines.

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