The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development says, the COVID-19 vaccines that arrived the country will cushion the humanitarian challenges relating to the pandemic.
Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development said this in a statement issued by her media aide, Mrs Nneka Anibeze on Wednesday in Abuja.
The minister expressed delight in the arrival of the 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday.
“Let me start by expressing my happiness for the arrival of the first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccines, this demonstrates a milestone in the history of this country in the fight against the pandemic.
“For us in the ministry, COVID-19 is both health emergency and a humanitarian challenge; the administration of the vaccine will really go a long way in cushioning the humanitarian challenges that we are facing.
“I am using this opportunity to appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for the support he has given to the Presidential Task Force through the Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.
“We are all pleased and we hope that these vaccines will be effectively utilised,” Farouq said.
The statement also quoted Mustapha as describing the arrival of the vaccines as a milestone in the history of the country and international response to COVID-19.
“The successful development of vaccines and the accelerated process for emergency authorisation has brought hope to humanity all over the world.
“The delivery of these vaccines was made possible as a result of the resourceful leadership provided by President Buhari, the National Assembly and major financial support from our friends globally,” he said.
The PTF Chairman explained that the Federal Government was expecting an additional 84 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX within the year.
He said the vaccine would serve 20 per cent of Nigeria’s over 200 million populations.
Mustapha said that government would begin the vaccination of frontline healthcare workers who would be the highest-priority recipients and strategic leaders in Abuja from March 8.
The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) is from Mumbai, India.