National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said, yesterday, that states yet to meet the criteria for COVID-19 vaccines would not get a share of the 3.92 million AstraZeneca vaccines received by the country on Tuesday.
Executive Director of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this at a State House briefing in Abuja, also said President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be vaccinated publicly tomorrow, while members of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, would have theirs on Monday.
He said: “After we are able to get our strategic leaders to publicly demonstrate that these vaccines are safe, the plan is to now go to the state level to start the launch at the treatment centres of the states and also get strategic leaders, such as governors, to publicly take the vaccines.
“By the time all of these happen, we would have finished all of the necessary preparations, we would have created a dashboard that will track very carefully the status of the preparedness of the states.
“We will not be sending vaccines to states that have not fulfilled all of the criteria that will ensure that if the vaccines get to the states, they are going to be safe.
“For example, we have communicated to the states that they have to wrap up their security around their cold stores because these are very valuable vaccines and we do not want a situation where vaccines are taken to the states and criminal elements take advantage to vandalise these cold stores.
“We are also aware that during the #EndSARS vandalism, there were some cold stores that actually suffered. I know that the state governors are trying to fix them but we have to verify those who are ready to receive our vaccines.
“We are working with the sub-national level; we are in conversation with Nigerian Governors’ Forum to see how Nigerians can rapidly get their vaccines. It is very critical that we roll out rapidly, so we can cut into any kind of mutation that can lead to the development of resistance against our vaccines.”
The NPHCDA boss also enjoined Nigerians, who wish to receive the vaccines to register on the website of the agency.
Speaking further, Shuiab said President Buhari and his vice, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo would take their jabs of the vaccine publicly tomorrow.
According to him, the exercise will boost the confidence of Nigerians to receive the vaccines.
Shuaib said: “The next step in the vaccination programme, given that we’ve now received the vaccines, is a launch that will be taking place at the National Hospital tomorrow (today). The time scheduled for that launch is 10 am. The launch will be conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
“The plan is to vaccinate the frontline health workers that work in the treatment centre of the National Hospital, those will be the first people just like we’ve communicated that frontline health workers will be the first people to take the vaccines.”