The Federal Government has said President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha and other prominent Nigerians will be among the first set of Nigerians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine on live television.
The Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this on Thursday in Abuja at the joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
According to him, “this is to help drive awareness on the virus and the vaccine administration in the country when it finally arrived.
He urged Nigerians not to be hesitant on the vaccines when they arrive as key government officials like president, VP and the SGF will take it on live TV.
“In terms of the prioritization of vaccines and strategic country leadership, what it means is that I had mentioned that we will like to see a situation where Mr. President, the Vice President, the SGF, critical leaders come and take the vaccine in full glare of the public to demonstrate that this vaccine is safe.
“So, we have to make provisions for those.
“But even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritization health workers, you have to also identify critical leaders that you don’t want them to be wiped off by the virus.
“For example, in warfare, if you want to destroy your enemies, you look for specific leaders, captains, the generals, once you decapitate them, then the soldiers will become weak.
“So, as much as possible, you do not want to also leave your leaders vulnerable to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you want to prioritize politicians, that is not correct.
“I emphasized during the last briefing that we will prioritize our health workers because they are the ones in direct contacts with cases in isolation units,” Shuaib said.
On the infection after taking the vaccine to boost health immunity, he said, “There is no shadows of doubt even from the different vaccines that we have used in the past, that it is always better to use the vaccines.
“For COVID-19 it will be approximately 10 years for you to be able to achieve health immunity. So, you can imagine how many people would have died if you have to rely on health immunity.
“The Swiss tried health immunity and I am sure of you go through the information that is available, for a lot of people health immunity just doesn’t work.
“The Americans touted it and see what is happening in the US. Health immunity is not the way to go.
“The evidence is there that when you use vaccines you are more likely to quickly attain health immunity, protect more people so, I will like to reiterate that you must not give way to conspiracy theories.
“We must try to manage the information around the vaccines, where people do not understand please reach out to us, those who are scientists, Public health experts. All of us here are Nigerians who take the issue of the safety of Nigerians seriously.”
42 million COVID-19 vaccines
Shuaib, had on Tuesday said Nigeria was expecting 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
He explained that the initial vaccines would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 percent of the population this year and another 30 percent in 2022, with 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arriving by the end of January.
Daily Trust reports that the United States President-elect, Joe Biden had in December last year received a COVID-19 vaccine on live television in a demonstration intended to encourage Americans to receive vaccine shots against the virus.