From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 215, 277 persons have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine since the commencement of the vaccination exercise few weeks ago.
There are indications that health care workers have received the highest number of the vaccine.
Data from the electronic dashboard of the vaccination exercise domiciled at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) revealed that, as at March 23rd, Lagos State was leading with 58, 461 (11.5%) persons that had received first dose of the vaccine.
The data also indicated that Bauchi has also administered 23, 827 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, Jigawa 20, 800; Ogun 19, 257; Kaduna 14, 572; Kwara 12, 061; Katsina 10, 200; FCT, 8, 616 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Unfortunately, Abia, kebbi, Kogi, Oyo, Taraba, Zamfara states have not administered the vaccine to anyone as indicated by the electronic dashboard of the vaccination exercise.
Nigeria, on Tuesday, 2nd March, took delivery of four million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which is the first batch of expected vaccines, ahead of the commencement of the vaccination exercise to Nigerians after several “delays” and shift in arrival date, perhaps, as a result of failed logistics arrangements or other unforeseen circumstances that might had elongated the arrival of the vaccine.
The vaccines arrived Nigeria through the collective efforts of GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), with UNICEF as a key implementing partner.
Few days after, Federal Government flagged off COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Abuja, with the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine to few health care workers at the National Hospital, Abuja.
Brief ceremony to herald the commencement of the exercise took place at the Trauma Centre, at National Hospital, Abuja, with impressive representation of the officials of the Federal Government.
Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, Ministers of Health, FCT and several others including representatives of donor partners attended the event.
At about 11: 05am, Dr. Cyprian Ngong, a family Physician, Senior Registrar at National Hospital, Abuja, was administered the first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, marking the historic commencement of COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, administered the vaccine to Dr. Ngong, who was deeply commended for being one of doctors working at one of the isolation centres since March 2020 giving treatment to COVID-19 patients.