Nigeria Commences Covid-19 Vaccination of Citizens

(file photo).

Over 155,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country and over 1,900 deaths.

Nigeria has commenced the vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19, beginning with health care workers.

Healthcare workers are often at risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19, as they are the first responders to patients.

"In keeping with our promise, the PTF is prioritizing the frontline healthcare workers in the first batch of vaccines received," the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha said at the National flag-off of COVID-19 vaccination at the National hospital, Abuja, on Friday.

Health workers at the National Hospital in Abuja were the first to receive the vaccines.

"They have fought hard to save us. They laid down their lives for us, and in the ICUs and treatment centres, they became our last line of defense," Mr Mustapha said.

About 4 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were delivered to Nigeria through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) on Tuesday.

The delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next weeks.

The vaccines arrived the country one year after the index case was reported in an Italian National. Over 155,000 cases have been reported in the country and over 1,900 deaths.

The Nigerian government had announced that the vaccine roll-out will be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.

"Phase 2 - Older adults aged 50 years and above. Those with co-morbidities aged 18 - 49 years of age.

"Phase 3 - Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2.

"Phase 4 - Other eligible population as vaccines become available," the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib Said.

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