The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said 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.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 press briefing in Abuja yesterday said that President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, will be among the first set of Nigerians to be administered with COVID-19 vaccines, when the country takes delivery of the first batch by the end of the month.
“In terms of the prioritisation 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 prioritise politicians, that is not correct. I emphasised during the last briefing that we will prioritise our health workers because they are the ones in direct contacts with cases in isolation units,” he said.
He also appealed to state governors to provide the back-up enforcement for the health protection regulations, which the federal government is seeking to develop to support existing COVID-19 protocols and to strengthen compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions.