Nigeria, on Friday, commenced the mass vaccination of her citizens against the COVID-19, beginning with the nation’s healthcare workers.
This is as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, warned Nigerians not to patronize fraudsters who are out to defraud, get rich and in the end, endanger Nigerians’ lives.
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The healthcare workers are often at risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19, as they are the first responders to patients.
A medical doctor, Dr Cyprian Ngong, of the National Hospital, Abuja, received a jab of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine administers on him by the Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib.
Mustapha flagged off the exercise on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Besides Dr Ngong, a nurse, Mrs Faith E. Eragbai; and two other medical doctors, Dr Nuru Joseph and Dr Tahir Yunusa, were also given doses of the vaccines.
About four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine were delivered to Nigeria through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX) on Tuesday after its arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja.
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.
Vaccines arrive 1 year after index case
The vaccines arrived in the country one year after the index case was reported in an Italian National who arrived in Lagos.
Over 155,000 cases have been reported and over 1,900 deaths recorded in the country.
The vaccines were approved after undergoing assessment by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the NPHCDA, and confirmed to have positive results.
Dr Cyprian Ngon, who took the first jab of the vaccine is a Family Physician, National Hospital, Abuja; the second person was Dr Tahir Yunusa, a Pathologist with the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital; the third, Dr Nuru Joseph, is also a Family Physician at the Accident and Emergency unit, National Hospital Abuja.
The SGF Mustapha, while flagging off the exercise, said it was another milestone in the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and that there was every course to be hopeful and more determined to win the war against the COVID-19 virus.