Nigeria: Covid-19 - Govt Warns Nigerians Against Black Market Vaccine

Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19
22 February 2021

The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians against getting the COVID-19 vaccine on the blackmarket in desperation.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha and Chairman Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, gave the warning on Monday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the taskforce.

According to him, the PTF is reassuring Nigerians that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines.

"We therefore plead for patience and vigilance. We also plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market," Mustapha said.

He noted that the issue of vaccines continues to dominate discussions and major policy and financial decisions by various countries of the world.

He also recalled that NAFDAC in the course of the week granted emergency authorization for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria.

According to him, this decision was reached after due process by the regulatory body.

He said, "Despite this milestone approval, which will obviously be a game changer, the PTF wishes to underscore the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures.

"Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our different communities."

He also warned that decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of the success in tackling the acute phase.

AstraZeneca vaccine

He said that the PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.

"The multi-sectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the 'last-mile administration' processes that have been put in place.

"This will involve community mobilization, training, transportation, storage and operations, among others. The real work involves every sub-national entities, the communities, the citizens, and the civil societies," Mustapha said.

Antibodies survey

The SGF also said that there have been preliminary results from the COVID-19 Seroprevalence Household Survey, which is on-going.

Mustapha said that it is to measure the seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in the population of selected states of Lagos, Enugu, Gombe and Nasarawa; by sex and age group based on a fraction of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or subclinical infections.

He said, "The survey was carried out by WHO protocol on SARS-COV-2 seroepidemiology and the outcome is quite encouraging."

The SGF also noted that in terms of numbers, statistics show that global cases and deaths have continued to decline.

He said that most countries have registered significant declines in cases but amongst the top five, the decline in Brazil is still minimal and that the African Region has shown high decline and South Africa continues to record a sustained daily decline in cases.

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