By Olalekan Adetayo, Friday Olokor, Adelani Adepegba, Dayo Ojerinde, Femi Asu & Wale Oyewale
Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, who is also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, may be part of the nation’s ‘strategic leaders’ to be vaccinated first when COVID-19 vaccine arrives the country later in the month.
The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Shuaib, has also offered to take the vaccine in public to prove to Nigerians that it is safe.
Shuaib, had at a press briefing of PTF on Tuesday, said in administering the vaccine, priority would be given to frontline health workers, first responders (security), and strategic country leadership among others.
In an interview with one of our correspondents on Wednesday, he shed more light on those that formed “strategic country leadership” that will form part of those to be vaccinated first.
The NPHCDA boss said the idea was that those in the forefront of the fight to curtail the virus would be part of those to be vaccinated first in order to boost the confidence of Nigerians.
He said, “When we talked about strategic leaders, we are talking about people like the chairman of the PTF, the Minister of Health and others.
“This is meant to demonstrate to Nigerians the safety of the vaccine by coming out to be part of those to be vaccinated first.
“Like I said earlier, I have also offered to take the vaccine in public to prove that it is safe. Those are the kind of people we are referring to as strategic leaders in this context.”
When asked about the modalities to be adopted in sharing the vaccines to states, Shuaib explained that the government would be prioritising frontline health workers.
He said the government already had details of those frontline workers.
On storage, he said enough space was available at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
He said because ultra-cool chain equipment was expensive, the government decided to go for vaccines that the country readily had cool chain equipment that could be used to store them.
Shuaib also faulted some virologists quoted to have said it was dangerous to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
He said there was nothing dangerous about the vaccine which had already been approved by the World Health Organisation.
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