By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
As Nigeria today (Tuesday) takes delivery of nearly four million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila have been scheduled to get their jabs on Monday, March 8.
The development is part of efforts by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency NPHCDA to forestall incidences of elite resistance and vaccine hesitation among the populace as the federal government rolls out vaccines to contain the pandemic.
Aside from the duo and members of the National Assembly, others slated to take the vaccines same day are the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, Ministers, the Inspector General of Police IGP, Mohammed Adamu as well as traditional and religious leaders.
Speaking at Monday’s briefing of the PTF in Abuja, Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib said the PTF will interface with President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to arrive at a suitable date for their vaccination.
According to him, all necessary safety and quality control measures have been put in place for the arrival, storage, and successful administration of the vaccine in the country.
“There is going to be a small ceremony chaired by the Chairman of the PTF on COVID-19 to receive the vaccine at the VIP Protocol section, General Aviation Terminal of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“At the end of the ceremonies to mark the arrival of the vaccines, a few vials of the vaccines would be handed over to the NAFDAC team which they will analyze over a period of 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 center 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.
“On Saturday, March 6th, Key Strategic leaders will receive the first dose of the vaccine. On Monday, March 8th, 2021, more vaccination sites would have been set up at designated locations such as the National Assembly clinic, State House clinic, and Federal Medical Centre, Jabi where strategic leaders such as the SGF, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of Police, the Ministers and Ministers of States, Senators, House of Representatives, traditional leaders and religious leaders would be vaccinated.
“After this launch and initial roll-out phase, Vaccine distribution to the States for the Phase 1 vaccination process will begin. This phase is the vaccination of all frontline health workers, their supporting staff, and strategic leaders. Deployment of vaccines to the States would be based on the assessment of their level of preparedness. Some of the parameters that would be used for the assessment include adequate maintenance of their cold chain storage facilities, adequate preparation for logistic transportation to the ward/ health facility, adequate security in place during transportation and at vaccination sites, completion of training of health workers, efficient social mobilization activities in place, adherence to the protocol for vaccine deployment.
“Working with CACOVID, plans are on the ground for a cargo plane provided by them to transport the vaccines to the States by air. States without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road using vans with fitted Cold Cabins, from the nearest airport. The vaccines will be stored at the State Cold Stores, from where they will be transported by road to LGA Cold Stores
“Once activities have commenced in the States, there would be strict monitoring by PTF, FMOH, NPHCDA, and independent bodies such as EFCC, DSS, ICPC, and Civil Society Organizations. States/health facilities/health workers that are identified as defaulting from the standard protocol and guidelines for this phase of vaccination would be sanctioned.
“While the first phase is ongoing, the National team would be ready for the arrival of the next batch of vaccines which would be used for the next phase of vaccination. Phase 2 vaccination process involves vaccination of the elderly from 50 years and above. This has been sub-grouped into 2, with the vaccination of 60 and above occurring first followed by 50 – 59years. This will occur across all 36 States and the FCT. Those who are eligible for vaccination that has not registered electronically would be assisted at the designated health facility and would be vaccinated.
The phase 3 vaccination process involves vaccination of those between 18 – 49years with co-morbidities (such as hypertension, diabetes, lung disease, other heart diseases, liver or renal disease, etc). Individuals at ages 50 and above with co-morbidities would already have been Immunized within their age group.
“The phase 4 vaccination process would involve vaccination of the rest of the eligible population between the ages 18 – 49years. It is worthy to note that at each phase of vaccination, the level of preparedness of the States is assessed before vaccines are deployed and accountability measures have been put in place to ensure strict compliance to the vaccination process. Pregnant women will be evaluated by their health providers to weigh the benefit versus risk before a decision is taken to vaccinate them”, Shuaib added.