The Federal Government has announced that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and other prominent personalities would be among the first set of Nigerians to be administered the COVID-19 vaccines when the country takes its first batch of delivery by the end of January.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib, who stated this on Thursday, January 7, at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said Buhari and the others would take the vaccines on live television in a bid to demonstrate to Nigerians that the vaccines are safe.
“Mr. President, Vice President, the SGF, and critical leaders will take the vaccine on live television and in full glare of the public to demonstrate that this vaccine is safe,” Shuaib said.
Shuaib had earlier stated on Tuesday that Nigeria was hoping to get 42 million COVID-19 vaccines to cover one fifth of its population through the global COVAX scheme.
He had further explained that the initial vaccines would come as part of Nigeria’s plan to inoculate 40 per cent of its population this year and another 30 per cent in 2022, with a shipment of 100,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine due to arrive by the end of the month.
At the briefing on Thursday, Shuaib said the Federal Government would prioritize the first set of people to be vaccinated.
“In terms of the prioritization of vaccines and strategic country leadership, what it means that I had mentioned that we will like to see a situation where Mr. President, the vice president, the SGF and critical leaders come and take the vaccine in full glare of the public to demonstrate that this vaccine is safe.
“So, we have to make provisions for those. But even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritization of health workers, you have to also identify critical leaders that you don’t want them to be wiped off by the virus.
“For example, in warfare, if you want to destroy your enemies, you look for specific leaders, captains, the generals, once you decapitate them, then the soldiers will become weak.
“So, as much as possible, you do not want to also leave your leaders vulnerable to COVID-19. It doesn’t mean you want to prioritize politicians, that is not correct. I emphasized during the last briefing that we will prioritize our health workers because they are the ones in direct contacts with cases in isolation units,” Shuaib said.
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