The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, has disclosed there are plans to vaccinate about 70 per cent of the country’s population between now and 2022.
Nigeria’s current total population figure is said to stands at 209 million, according to Worldometer, a global statistics platform.
The country is scheduled to take delivery of 3.92 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines via the COVAX facility on Tuesday.
Boss Mustapha, PTF chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), at the daily press briefing on Monday, highlighted the response in the last one year since Nigeria recorded its index case of the virus, and said the vaccines offer a huge ray of hope.
“Ladies and gentlemen, with the arrival of vaccines, we have entered the phase of the NPIs plus vaccines phase of the national response. As you have all heard, we shall receive four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines tomorrow, Tuesday, 2nd March, 2021, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja,” he said.
“This development offers a huge ray of hope that comes with its own challenges and responsibilities for all Nigerians. We must all be prepared to take responsibility.
“The following facts are germane: The development of vaccines is a ray of hope is a welcome development; vaccines alone cannot be a solution; accessing vaccines has been strategic and deliberate; vaccines coming to Nigeria shall be safe and efficacious; the PTF is coordinating while the FMOH/NPHCDA are directly implementing using existing infrastructure and skills set; the required vaccines strategy steering committee has been set up by the minister of health; the administration of vaccines shall be prioritised in a strategic manner beginning with health sector frontline workers and strategic leadership; over 2021 and 2022, we aim to vaccinate 70 percent of the population.”
Mustapha stated that the achievement of the core objectives behind the aforementioned facts may be negatively affected, if there is hesitancy and scepticism, elite resistance, and possible emergence of unauthorised or fake vaccines.
Earlier, the Federal Government had launched a strategy for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The strategy, named T.E.A.C.H., is initiated by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with the federal ministry of health.