By Hassan Zaggi
The Director, Advocacy and Communication of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Eunice Damisa, has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to receive any COVID-19 vaccine.
She disclosed this at a virtual sensitization meeting with health correspondents, Friday.
“We are expecting the exact date and time that the vaccine will arrive from UNICEF. Once they gave us that, we will make it public. As at today, we have not received any vaccine.
“If we have all the vaccine we need, we will vaccinate all those illegible, that is from 15 years and above, however, the vaccine is coming in batches because there are a lot of pressure on the manufacturers.
“They vaccines are not readily available, so we are going to receive them in batches. The first batch will be targeting health workers,” she explained.
In her presentation, the Assistant Director, Disease Control unit of the NPHCDA, Dr Nana Sanda, said that the agency has concluded plans to train over 12,000 people who will participate in the administration of COVID-19 vaccine across the country.
The NPHCDA and partners, according to her, have drawn a comprehensive training plan to guide the overall coordination and implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine administration.
The training which will start at state level will be cascaded down to the local government, ward and community levels.
The target population are those who have attained the age of 15 years above.
“As we are speaking, training have begun for over 12,000 participants across the states and LGAs in the country.
“We have developed training manuals and tools and monitoring and supervisory check lists in readiness for the training.
“The training will be stepped down to the ward level, to the health worker and to community levels,” she said.
She explained that an estimated 61.14 per cent which is equivalent to 180 million Nigerians including pregnant women are eligible for the vaccination.
For pregnant women, however, their recommendation will be reviewed by their doctors to see that the benefit out-weigh the risk.
The vaccine will be administered in phases which will be up to next year.
On the strategies to be adopted, she explained that: “Another strategy is the assisted electronic registration of health care workers for those who are unable to self-register or may be they have not gotten the device or support network or assess service. We have our LGA personnel assist this category of workers to register.”
She revealed that the federal government has received multiple commitments for the delivery of millions of vaccines to all eligible Nigerians.
“The different funding sources include those of the COVAX facility, Africa Union Commission, the government of India and the MTN.
“They have made commitments of various doses from manufacturers who have been certified. We will be receiving over 16 million of the dosses from Serium Institute through the COVAX facility.
“The African Union has approved 2.9 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine and 18.9 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. We are expecting that between March and April of this year. The government of India has donated 100,000 doses of Astrazeneca and Nigeria is to receive 1.5 million doses of Astrazeneca vaccine from MTN,” she said.