The World Health Organisation has congratulated Nigeria for taking delivery of its 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
The vaccines arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja on Tuesday.
Nigeria is now the third country in West Africa behind Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire to receive the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility.
In a series of tweets posted on the official Twitter handle of the global health agency on Tuesday, WHO representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo encouraged all stakeholders to roll out the vaccines based on priority, starting with health workers.
“What a day in history! 3.92 million #COVID19 vaccine doses from #COVAX have just arrived in Abuja, Nigeria. Privileged to witness the arrival of the first batch of the Astra Zeneca #vaccine.
“Cold chain is ready. Our priority is now gradual roll-out, starting with frontline health workers. This first COVID-19 vaccine shipment to Africa’s most populous nation marks a huge step towards #VaccinEquity. Congratulations!” he said.
He, however, warned that Nigerians to continue observing the non-pharmaceutical intervention to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection after receiving the vaccines.
“#Vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against #COVID19. In the meantime, Nigerians must continue to take steps to contain the virus, as the vaccination programme will take at least a year before it is fully effective.
“Our priority is now gradual roll out, starting with frontline health workers. This is a historic step towards our goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally,” he stated.
Recall that Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency announced that there would be a small ceremony after the arrival of the vaccine to be chaired by the Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha at the VIP protocol section of the Airport.
Shuaib made the statement at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, a few vials of the vaccines would be handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control team for analysis over two days (Wednesday, March 3rd and Thursday, March 4th).
“Further to the clearance by NAFDAC, the PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA and strategic leaders will be at the treatment centre of the National Hospital on Friday, March 5th 2021, where the first vaccination site will be set up to commence the vaccination of the frontline health workers and support staff.
“These Staff would also be electronically registered in the COVID-19 vaccine database and would receive their COVID-19 vaccination card which has a QR code that can be verified worldwide,” he had stated.
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