The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has cautioned Nigerians against buying uncertified COVID-19 vaccines from the black market.
The PTF Chairman, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, gave the warning during the Taskforce COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Monday.
According to Mustapha, the PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon.
He said, “The PTF wishes to reassure Nigerians that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines.
“We, therefore, plead for patience and vigilance. We also plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.
“The issue of vaccines continues to dominate discussions and major policy and financial decisions by various countries of the world.
“As you are aware, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control in the course of the week granted emergency use authorisation for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria.
“This decision was reached after due process by the regulatory body.
“Despite this milestone approval, which will obviously be a game-changer, the PTF wishes to underscore the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures.”
The PTF chairman further said, “Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our different communities.
“Let me state that decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of our success in tackling the acute phase.
“The PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.
“The multisectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the ‘last-mile administration’ processes that have been put in place.
“This will involve community mobilisation, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc.
“The real work involves every sub-national entities, the communities, the citizens, and the civil Societies. We crave your cooperation and support to achieve this.”
Recall that NAFDAC had on Thursday approved the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Nigeria.
The World Health Organisation had also recently approved the vaccine for emergency use.
Nigeria wants to vaccinate 50 per cent of its population against the coronavirus in 2021 but is yet to receive its first batch of vaccines.
The country is expected to receive an initial 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the Vaccines Global Assess Facility, by the end of February, according to the PTF.
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