The Federal Government has taken delivery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that was being expected to kickstart the country’s vaccination programme against the deadly respiratory disease.
As gathered, the vaccine said to be among the first tranche of about 4 million doses approved for the country arrived Nigeria on Tuesday, via an Emirates airline.
It would be recalled that in anticipation of the vaccine arrival, the Federal Government yesterday launched an electronic registration platform that would enable Nigerians to get vaccinated against coronavirus pandemics.
The Nigerian government indicated that the move was to ensure a seamless vaccination process that would guarantee all Nigerians across the country get the needed shots irrespective of ethnic, religious, and political affiliations
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the adopted T.E.A.C.H strategy that birthed the online registration combined of indigenous (traditional) approaches with modern technologically enabled systems of vaccination.
Speaking on Monday during the official launch of the T.E.A.C.H strategy for COVID-19 vaccination of eligible Nigerians and Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) in Abuja, Shuaib hinted that the country would leverage the experiences gained during the polio immunization programs.
According to him, the e-registration process will make for easy and stress-free registration prior to vaccination and once an individual completes registration, a unique pre-vaccination identifier will be issued via the website with which he or she will take to the vaccination site for proper identification before getting vaccinated.
The NPHCDA boss noted that Nigerians can assess the e-registration portal via the agency’s website, adding that Nigerians can choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated while registering.
Furthermore, he explained that when the vaccines arrive in the country, frontline workers, including strategic leaders like the President, Vice President, Ministers, Governors, and Religious and Traditional Leaders would be among those to receive the first doses of the vaccines in line with the four phases outlined for the vaccination process.
Shuaib said that those listed for the first shots were to show Nigerians that the vaccines are safe and effective as validated by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“In phase one, healthcare workers, frontline workers, ports of entry (air, land, and seaports), Military, covid-19 rapid response team (RRT), laboratory network, policemen, and petrol station workers and Strategic leaders, will be vaccinated first. Frontline workers include support staff such as cleaners, security staff, body handlers, drivers, waste managers, oil & gas workers, bankers, etc.
“Next is phase two, which will comprise older adults aged 50 years and above, and those with comorbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age. Phase three includes those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases one and two, and phase four includes other eligible populations as vaccines become available.”