By Rasaq Adebayo
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib has hinted that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Saturday be taking the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The NPHCDA boss disclosed this on Thursday during a briefing in Abuja.
He said the COVID-19 vaccination will be launched on Friday at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Also, the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, will be vaccinated on Saturday to increase confidence in the vaccines and overcome vaccine hesitancy.
According to Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the actual time for the vaccination of the President and Vice President on Saturday will be communicated soon.
He noted that members of the Federal Executive Council will be vaccinated on Monday.
This comes barely 48 hours after Nigeria received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.
The NAFDAC-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, around noon on Tuesday, via an Emirates airline.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had earlier said that Nigeria will receive its first tranche of about 4 million doses of the coronavirus vaccines.
The Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire had also said that once the vaccines arrive in the country, about 70% of the population is expected to be inoculated within two years.
“We have been told to open an account with Afreximbank under the African Union; we have done that already successfully because we are going to pay for that part of the vaccine. The COVAX vaccine is free, at no cost to us, it is made from donations,
“We want to immunise about 60 to 70% of our population. If COVAX immunises 20, then we have about 40 to 50 to immunise within the next two years. So, we have to pay for that minus any donations that we get like the MTN donation, for example, all those ones reduce the quantities that we have to purchase or any other that in future are given to us free of charge,” Ehanire said.
Nigeria is one of the few countries in Africa to have gotten doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun.
The minister made the comments on February 24, the same day that Ghana became the first country to receive vaccines from COVAX- a global scheme to procure and distribute Covid inoculations for free for poorer countries.
The 600,000 doses delivered to Ghana were the Oxford/AstraZeneca formula, made under license by the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, the Serum Institute of India.
Meanwhile, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency on Monday announced that Nigerians can now register for the COVID-19 vaccination via its website.
“To register for #COVID19 Vaccination, visit our website http://nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration,” the agency said in a tweet.