By Sola Ogundipe & Gabriel Olawale
Nigerian politician and philanthropist, Senator Wilfred Olabode Olajumoke, on Thursday admonished the Federal government not to deviate from the laid down procedure of how the COVID-19 vaccination exercise will be carried out.
In a chat with Vanguard, Olajumoke called for simplification of the registration exercise even as he warned that it will be a disservice if the elite is allowed to hijack the vaccination process.
“My appeal to the government is that they should follow the four-phased procedure which is globally acceptable.
“The first phase of the roll-out of the vaccine would target health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, teachers among others in that category.
“For instance, we have teachers who are teaching our students in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions. The students come from different backgrounds and homes, some of them are already exposed and these children are likely to expose others.”
On the 2nd phase, he said it should focus on older adults aged 50 years and above as well as those with co-morbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age.
“People with disabilities which is my major area of interest must also be considered. Phase three – Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2. Phase 4 – Other eligible populations as the vaccines become available.
Olajumoke expressed concern over some of the conditions that must be met to benefit from the vaccine, “I saw a questionnaire that people need to fill online before they can benefit from the vaccine.
“To a large extent, I found it absurd because my uncles and sisters from different parts of the country who are illiterate will have the challenge to fill the questionnaire.
“They should make the questionnaire available in different languages because even with my level of education, I had challenges going through the questionnaire, so imagine what the ordinary people will pass through.”
Reacting to the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine in some parts of the world, Olajumoke said since the origin of the vaccine doses shipped to Nigeria is India, and the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, had backed the vaccine in terms of safety, there was no problem.
“I don’t see any problem. In Europe and America, people are hesitating to receive all the vaccines, not just AstraZeneca.
“But we need to understand that this pandemic is serious business and we are very lucky in this part of the world.
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