The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Wednesday dismissed fears that people might not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19, saying that up to 2.3m Nigerians have indicated interest in taking the jabs stating that the vaccine will be launched on Friday.
This was said by the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, he said people were excited with the arrival of the vaccine, and that they are take the vaccination very serious but they are waiting for NAFDAC’s approval before they begin work.
He said :“I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement about the vaccine arrival. I know some people have their concerns and we are trying but I want to give you an example of the enthusiasm that Nigerians are showing around wanting to take these vaccines.
“Around midday on Monday when we launched the e-registration platform, in less than 24 hours, we already had up to 2.3m Nigerians who had registered. And that number continues to increase.”
Shuaib spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“So, we take that very seriously and this is why we are going to be working very hard,” he added. “Yes, the vaccines are here, but there is even harder work that needs to go on to make sure that we deliver the vaccines into the arms of Nigerians in a way that is respectful, in a way that is stress-free”, he said.
“So, we are waiting on NAFDAC. We feel that they are going to do all of the checks that are necessary and once they give us the green light, we will be ready to roll out the vaccines”, he said.
“I will tell you categorically that we have not allotted these vaccines to the rich people or to the people in the urban areas, absolutely not. Mr President has been very clear,” Dr Faisal maintained.
“Mr Vice President has also added his voice and the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force have communicated this in the Presidential Task Force media briefings. He has made it very clear in terms of who we are going to prioritise and I will repeat it here again that the first group of people who are going to be taking these vaccines are those people who have sacrificed in the last one year taking care of all Nigerians that have come down with COVID-19. So, the frontline health workers first.
“On Friday, we are going to be launching the vaccines, we are going to be rolling them out at the treatment centres at the national hospital. Our priority will be the health workers that are frontline. We are going to be giving these vaccines to first responders”, he explained.
“We are going to be looking at those strategic leaders like Mr President and the Vice-President, those people who will also want to take the vaccines publicly so that they can motivate the followers to take the vaccines, to convince them that the vaccines are very safe”, Shuaib noted.