Executive Director, National Primarily Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaibu, has said that the Federal Government was aiming at vaccinating 70 per cent 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 per cent of those eligible will be vaccinated under the first phase, while the remaining 40 per cent would receive their own vaccine under the second phase.
He also disclosed that the first phase of the vaccination would prioritize Health workers and aged people, with underlying health challenges, stressing that government was doing everything possible to ensure that those targeted were vaccinated to curb the spread of the Virus.
Dr Shuaibu disclosed that 20 per cent of the vaccine would be sourced free of charge from the COVAX facility, while 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.
Dr Gwarzo, who is a renowned Epidemiologist, said that an electronic data base 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 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 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 Northern Governors’ Forum, Mr Samuel Lalong of Plateau, expressed gratitude to the Foundation for the webinar, which had gone along 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.