The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has declared as safe and efficacious, AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, as Nigeria takes delivery of 3.92 doses of the vaccine.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the COVID-19 PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the declaration in Abuja.
EagleReporters had also reported that Nigeria has received 3,9340,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India.
The doses are the first tranche of the 16 million doses expected under the COVAX Facility arrangement.
Speaking at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, the SGF said:
“The arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine today marks a significant milestone in the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
“For over one year, humanity has remained under the siege of a virus that has impacted on lives; livelihood; destroyed economies; governance systems; medical services; as well as socio-economic systems.
”Nations around the world have deployed enormous resources to tackle the virus which has seen a first wave and more virulent second wave.”
”The successful development of vaccines and the accelerated process for emergency authorisation has brought hope to humanity.
“Its arrival in Nigeria today has been made possible through purposeful leadership by His Excellency, the President, in collaboration with domestic stakeholders, the international community,” he said.
Mustapha said that there were painstaking technical efforts to ensure that Nigerians were being offered safe and also efficacious vaccines.
“Prior to the vaccines phase, we had introduced and promoted Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs),” he said.
Mustapha said that the NPIs remained valid measures under the Infection Prevention and Control Policy.
“I, therefore, urge all Nigerians to continue to comply with these measures; even as we roll out vaccine administration plan which is expected to reach 70 per cent of our population between 2021 and 2022.
“Under the circumstances, it must continue to be NPIs plus vaccines.
“Although this consignment of vaccine is just 3.924 million doses of the expected 16 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX Facility, we are indeed grateful to the coalition that has made this possible for us to receive it.
“Administration of the vaccine to the last mile will be prioritised in a strategically-planned manner to meet out peculiar needs; cover our heroic healthcare workers who have sacrificed their all; including their lives, in caring for the rest of us.”