Covid-19 vaccine: FG is targeting 70 percent coverage of Nigerians – Director

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The Executive Director, National Primarily Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaibu, has said that the Federal Government was targeting vaccinating 70 percent of Nigerians against Covid-19.

Shuaibu, who disclosed this during a webinar hosted by the Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, on the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine, on Thursday, in Kaduna, added that 30 percent of those eligible will be vaccinated under the first phase, while the remaining 40 percent would receive their own vaccine under the second phase.

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He also disclosed that the first phase of the vaccination would prioritize Health workers and aged people, with underlying health challenges, stressing that the government was doing everything possible to ensure that those targeted were vaccinated to curb the spread of the Virus.

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Dr. Shuaibu disclosed that 20 percent of the vaccine would be sourced free of charge from the COVAX facility, while the government would procure the rest, assuring that the vaccine would be safe and effective.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Industry, Dr. Sani Gwarzo, described the webinar as timely, while stressing the need for a proactive approach, using teams of experts, that would come up with innovative ways to enlighten the people on the vaccine.

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Dr. Gwarzo, who is a renowned Epidemiologist, said that an electronic database would be used, so as to ensure that the required percentage coverage was reached, as well as enable monitoring, in case of any complications.

Prof. Abdul Nasidi, a member of the Ministerial Expert Committee on Covid-19, said there was the need to take the issue of coronavirus very seriously, as such the need for more sensitization and enlightenment on the vaccine, because people have every reason to suspect the vaccine if they were not enlightened.

He suggested the use of effective communication strategies, that would involve the community, religious and traditional leaders, who had proven as the best way to reach out to the citizens.
”The virus is an enemy that is moving fast (therefore) we need to take the right measures to shrink the virus”, he said.

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The Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Mr. Samuel Lalong of Plateau, expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the webinar, which had gone a long way in enlightening the people about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine.

He disclosed that Northern Governors had agreed to purchase the vaccines, whenever it became available.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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