The Ogun State government on Monday has announced the arrival of 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as the first state to benefit from the distribution in the country.
This state is receiving its first tranche of the 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine from the Federal Government barely a week after its arrival in the country.
Announcing the arrival on twitter, the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun wrote, “On behalf of the Ogun State Government, I received in Abeokuta, 50,000 doses of the total 100,000 #COVID19 vaccines in the first supply.
“We are the first State in the Federation to receive such consignment, and the State specially appreciates President @MBuhari & the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha. #BuildingOurFutureTogether #COVID19”
Addressing a press conference, the governor disclosed that another tranche of 50,000 vaccines would be arriving in the state later on Monday night.
The governor attached the state being the first to receive the vaccine to the level of preparedness put in place.
Abiodun promised that the vaccines would be administered in line with the scheduled guidelines laid down by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He urged residents to register adding that the vaccine is not a replacement for COVID-19 protocls.
In his words, “We will commence the vaccinations in line with the scheduled guidelines laid down by NPHCDA. They have identified particular state hospitals, general hospitals, primary health care centres across the state that would be used for this vaccination.
“I’m sure you are aware that there is a portal that already exists and there is a link that allows you to register or preregister and identify your local government so it can as close to the available centre as possible.
“We will be prioritising our front line health workers, our elders and we go down the line as stipulated by NPHCDA.
“Definitely, we are beginning to see the end of this pandemic that has disrupted our lives like we have never anticipated in the last 13 months.
“But this is not an opportunity to throw our masks away. This vaccine that we are getting, the protocol is that we get the first shot and then we get the booster shots and it is not until we get that booster shots that we have the required level of immunity.
“Even at that, what science tells us is that it is meant to reduce the severity of disease so the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines will still continue to obtain.”
While allaying fears of the public on the vaccine, the governor who said the vaccine had been subjected to testing by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) added that his deputy, Engr (Mrs) Noimot Salako-Oyedele and himself would present themselves for COVID-19 vaccination.
Nigeria had on Tuesday 2nd of March received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII), from Mumbai to Abuja shipped via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
The arrival marked a historic step towards the goal to ensure equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history. The delivery is part of a first wave of arrivals in Nigeria that will continue in the coming days and weeks.
President Muhamadu Buhari had on Saturday received the vaccine after a doctor had on Friday became the first person to receive the vaccine in the country.
According to UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon “The arrival of these vaccines in Abuja today marks a milestone for the COVAX Facility in its unprecedented effort to deliver at least 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines globally by the end of 2021.”
COVAX is expected to deliver around 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the African Region in the first quarter of 2021 and has committed to providing up to 600 million doses to the region by end-2021 to cover 20 per cent of the population.
With 158,042 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,954 deaths, the Nigerian government had secured only secured 16 million doses of AstraZeneca’s shot under the Covax facility after NAFDAC had found to be safe and well-tolerated in adults above 18 years of age in its quest to inoculate 40% of its population of more than 200 million against the virus this year and 70% by the end of 2022.