From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja, Rose Ejembi Makurdi, From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Federal Government has listed conditions for states to meet before the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be released to them when it arrives the country by the end of the month.
National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), during a webinar tagged “Sensitisation meeting with media gatekeepers on COVID-19 vaccine introduction”, at the weekend, said no vaccine would be release to states until facilities such as cold chains were in place.
Programme Manager, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre for PHCDA, Bassey Okposen, said the country would receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by the end of January.
Director, Logistics and Health Commodities, NHPCDA, Kubura Daradara, however, said the vaccine must be administered within five days of receipt for it to remain potent, and that only states that show commitment would receive the doses.
She said that the 100,000 doses would be administered to 50,000 people, because each person had to take a second dose 21 days after taking the first one.
The NPHCDA also released details of how the first batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses would be distributed across states.
Okposen, who stood in for the executive director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, during his presentation at the webinar, said the vaccines would be administered around the last week of January or early February.
He said states with higher percentage of confirmed cases would be given more doses.
“We have other sources of vaccine that are non-mRNA like the COVAX vaccine. The country and other stakeholders are working towards how they can get additional vaccines from the other countries like Russia and USA,” Okposen said.
“We want to assure all Nigerians that the vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine will be introduced in four phases and this is due to the availability and quantity that will come in at any given time. When the vaccine arrives, in the plan, there’s going to be the prioritisation of persons to be given the vaccination so as to optimise the available resources and vaccines that will be received and this will be based on global best practices.
“In the first priority, when the limited doses first come in towards the end of this month and early February, will be the frontline health workers like immigration, airport, police and military on essential duties, those working in the labs and other medical practitioners.
“Those states with higher number of cases will be given additional doses. We’ve mapped out the health workers in each state and locations where these vaccines will be deployed as soon as we receive them. All the states in the country have cases and we need to get the vaccine to them all if we want to achieve herd immunity.”
In a data shared by NPHCDA, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi and Oyo would receive higher doses for health workers.
The breakdown is as follows Kano, 3,557; Lagos, 3,131; Katsina, 2,361; Kaduna, 2,074; Bauchi, 1,900; Oyo, 1,848; Rivers, 1,766; Jigawa, 1,712; Niger, 1,558; Ogun, 1,473; Sokoto, 1,468; Benue, 1,423; Borno, 1,416; Anambra, 1,379; Kebbi, 1,361; Zamfara, 1,336; Rivers, 1,306; Imo, 1,267; Ondo, 1,228; Akwa Ibom, 1,161.Others are: Adamawa, 1,129; Edo, 1,104; Plateau, 1,089; Enugu, 1,088; Osun, 1,032; Kogi, 1,030; Cross River, 1,023; Abia, 955; Gombe, 908; Yobe, 842; Ekiti, 830; Taraba, 830; Kwara, 815; Ebonyi, 747; Bayelsa, 589; FCT, 695; Nasarawa, 661.
Okposen added that the federal government intends to administer the vaccine to at least 40 per cent of Nigerians in 2021, and another 30 percent in 2022.