As the nation awaits the arrival of the 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine today, Tuesday, the federal government says any coronavirus vaccine brought into the country from any airports other than the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, was illegal.
The 3.92 million is the first batch of the 129 million doses the country is expecting to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunibe Mamora speaking at the PTF weekly briefing on Monday said only vaccine procured by the federal government was allowed to be imported.
Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, urged private organizations not to import vaccines into the country for now.
Thee Federal Government is expecting enough vaccines to cater for residents and citizens, with the option to increase supply if need be, he said.
“All vaccines coming into Nigeria will arrive only by the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja. Arrival at any other airport will not be allowed and sure to be confiscated by Customs. It is important to have an orderly, disciplined rollout to avoid chaos in the immunization scene,” he said.
Abou 70 per cent of Nigeria’s over 200 million population is targeted for vaccination between now and end of next year, though the Federal Government has stated that there will be no vaccination for people under the age of 18 years.
Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, said the first phase of vaccine distribution will go to states that have the required facillities.
Some of the parameters that will be used for the assessment includes adequate maintenance of cold chain storage facilities, adequate operation for logistics transportation to the ward and health facilities, adequate security in place during transportation and at the vaccination site, completion of training of health workers, efficient social mobilization activities in place, and adherence to protocol for vaccine deployment, he said
“Working with CACOVID, the private sector has made plans to transport the vaccines to the states by air. States without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road using vans fitted with cold chain cabins from the nearest airport in their states, Dr Faisal stated
The PTF said the traditional vaccination approach, tagged ”T.E.A.C.H,” an acronym for a five-point strategy for vaccination would be implemented.
TEACH stands for T: Traditional Vaccination Campaign Approach; E: Electronic Self-Registration by Eligible Nigerians; A: Assisted Electronic Registration of Eligible Nigerians; C: Concomitant Vaccination alongside Electronic Registration and H: House-to-House Electronic Registration.
Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, while launching the platform, expressed optimism that with the experience garnered by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, during vaccination and subsequently eradication of polio in the country, the agency would record another feat against COVID-19.