Reports reaching Security Watch Africa has it that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will receive COVID-19 vaccine doses on Saturday.
Recall that Nigeria took delivery of 3.9 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine on Tuesday, which is the first batch of the 16 million expected through the World Health Organisation-led COVAX facility.
The vaccines which will be administered in two doses was received through the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja aboard Emirates Airlines.
It was gathered that the government is expecting 129 million vaccine doses to vaccinate 70 per cent of its population within two years.
The vaccines have since been handed over to the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) team for analysis
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said: “ Further to the clearance by NAFDAC, the PTF, FMOH and NPHCDA, strategic leaders will be at the treatment centre of the National Hospital on Friday, where the first vaccination site will be set up to commence the vaccination of frontline health workers and support staff. On Saturday, key strategic leaders will receive the first dose of the vaccine.
“ On Monday, more vaccination sites would have been set up at designated locations such as National Assembly clinic, State House clinic and Federal medical centre, Jabi, where leaders such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, the Ministers and Ministers of States, Senators, House of Representatives, traditional leaders and religious leaders will be vaccinated.
“ Vaccine distribution to the States for the first phase vaccination process will begin. ”
Shuaib said plans are on ground for a cargo plane provided by CACOVID to transport the vaccines to the States by air, while sates without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road using vans with fitted Cold Cabins, from the nearest airport.
He said the vaccines will be stored at the State Cold Stores, from where they will be transported by road to local government Council Cold Stores
“ Once activities have commenced in the States, there would be strict monitoring by PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA and independent bodies such as EFCC, DSS, ICPC, and Civil Society Organisations. States/health facilities/health workers that are identified as defaulting from the standard protocol and guidelines for this phase of vaccination would be sanctioned.
“ While the first phase is ongoing, the National team would be ready for the arrival of the next batch of vaccines which would be used for the next phase of vaccination. Phase 2 vaccination process involves vaccination of the elderly from 50 years and above.
“ This has been sub grouped into two, with the vaccination of 60 and above occurring first followed by 50 – 59 years. This will occur across all 36 States and the FCT. Those who are eligible for vaccination that have not registered electronically, would be assisted at the designated health facility and would be vaccinated, ” he added.
An additional 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines donated by telecom giant, MTN, will be also be delivered by end of the month.