3.9m doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrives in Nigeria, but who gets what?
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NIGERIA has received 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX Facility in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
With the delivery, Nigeria becomes the third West African nation to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX Facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Taking delivery of the vaccine at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 and secretary to the government of the federation, expressed the federal government’s appreciation to the facilitators of the delivery.
Mustapha handed over the vaccine to Osagie Ehanire, minister of health, whom he said had the responsibility to ensure that due process was followed in administering the vaccine.
“It is with a sense of relief and elation that we receive this consignment of vaccine, nearly 4 million in number, to begin the process of inoculating Nigerians against the deadly coronavirus.
“It is our belief that this is the beginning of the journey towards eliminating COVID-19 in our country. We assure you that due process would be done, there would be equitable use and free distribution, application to all parts of the country,” Ehanire said.
Who gets the vaccine first?
As Nigeria takes delivery of 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, there are debates on who should get it first, considering the population of Nigeria estimated at over 200 million.
According to Tolu Ogunlesi, a presidential aide, the vaccine rollout phase would first be targeted at frontline health workers and strategic leaders before administering it on persons 50 years and above- with priority for people with co-morbidities.
Others included persons within the age of 18-49 years with co-morbidities and then the rest of the eligible population (i.e. 18-49 years without co-morbidities), Ogunlesi said.
The ICIR had reported that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) launched a registration portal for COVID-19.
NPHCDA said the processes of getting the vaccine included an electronic self-registration by eligible Nigerians, assisted electronic registration of eligible Nigerians, concomitant vaccination alongside electronic registration, and house-to-house electronic registration.