Abuja, 8 March, 2021 – When Nigeria, potentially the most populous country in Africa received the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines, authorities officers and stakeholders heaved a command of relieve.
For Dr Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Successfully being, “It is some distance a feeling of relief and elation that finally we’re joining the group of nations who can vaccinate their electorate against COVID-19 illness which has been raging internationally. Now we need to about a extent lagged but are relieved that we are in a position to now delivery up vaccinating our electorate.
On 02 March 2021, Nigeria received nearly 4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, shipped by strategy of the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO. The consignment for Nigeria made it the third country in West Africa after Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire to receive the vaccines.
Understandably, partners within the forefront of COVID-19 response echoed the Minister’s pleasure.
To Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, the WHO Nigeria Nation Representative (WR), “That is a genuine milestone for Nigeria and as a member of WHO, I if truth be told if truth be told feel proud to have been section of the COVAX facility alongside GAV, CEPI and UNICEF. We’re proud that we’re in a region to ship this first consignment to Nigeria that can delivery up the campaign that can with any luck terminate the pandemic now not finest in Nigeria but even originate air Nigeria. I if truth be told if truth be told feel proud to have been section of history within the making.”
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Successfully being Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society organisations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX is section of the Obtain admission to to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, a floor-breaking international collaboration to hotfoot up pattern, manufacturing, and equitable safe admission to to COVID-19 assessments, remedies, and vaccines.
It can maybe be recalled that after the first case became reported on 27th February, 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Preserve watch over (NCDC), with toughen from partners, equivalent to the World Successfully being Organization, mounted a sturdy response concept to comprise its spread; for plug among the highly acclaimed responses by constructing economies.
Therefore, while waiting to receive the vaccines at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, a highly expectant Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director Overall of NCDC stated, “On the present time we are in a position to delivery up a walk in Nigeria that can with any luck discover us lend a hand to about a normalcy of living the methodology we cherish to stay in Nigeria, stuffed with life, in a region to shake hands, in a region to discover off face veil and in a region to have fun with every diverse, but for now ,all advisable non pharmacological interventions(NPIs) must proceed. On the present time is a major day for our country.
Equitable distribution concept
Nigeria is now not going to get well from COVID-19 pandemic if there’s incompatibility within the distribution of the vaccines across the entire States. To address this drawback, the Minister of Successfully being stated that there ” is a extraordinarily intricate distribution concept that has been dwelling up by the federal ministry of health and organized by the Nationwide Critical Successfully being Care Vogue Agency; the company to blame for immunizations which furthermore have tons of expertise from the polio eradication initiative for addressing the entire logistics and difficulties required to make particular delivery of vaccines to every eligible particular person.
I am happy that the Nationwide vaccine deployment concept (NDVP) will likely be successfully performed and the advisory of starting up with frontline health workers, the elderly and the inclined population will likely be adhered to”.
Talking extra, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of NPHCDA stated, “That is a key section of our dedication to the Nigerian folk to make particular full transparency, as we distribute and introduce safe and efficient COVID-19 vaccines.”.
Assurance on vaccine effectiveness and Security.The pleasure following delivery of vaccine notwithstanding, conspiracy theories have emerged to discredit the vaccine’s safety and efficacy. As a consequence, the DG of NCDC illustrious that, “At any time when there’s something novel, there’s about a level of fright, but I am confident in regards to the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. Now we have been by means of many of vaccination campaigns and we regularly know that we need to want with the group, dispute to them, present to them the label that the vaccines have introduced.” WHO has reviewed the on hand science within the lend a hand of the diverse vaccine candidates and have issued emergency outdated itemizing (EUL) to all vaccines being deployed by means of the Covax Facility. In Nigeria, NAFDAC, the regulatory company has furthermore given approvals for the spend of those vaccines.
To extra relieve Nigerians, he stated “I if truth be told have regularly stated that there isn’t a higher intervention in medication than vaccines. Our impartial is to proceed educating and dealing with ourselves. We realize where these anxieties are coming from but we are in a position to furthermore present as regularly and advance collectively as a country, want with folk and present the values this vaccine will lift and be particular that that we watch the numbers advance down, which is exactly what’s going to happen once we introduce the vaccine.”
A notice of warning
Being vaccinated would now not point out that we are in a position to throw warning to the wind and effect ourselves and others at probability. To buttress this point, the Dr Mulombo stated “vaccine is a highly efficient tool but it for plug is a further tool. Nigerians must proceed adhering to diverse public health and social measures. Folks must proceed to position on face masks in public, steer optimistic of confined places, proceed to natty their hands or spend hand sanitizers, withhold bodily distancing and diverse measure.
WHO will proceed to toughen the Executive of Nigeria to supporting the implementation of nationwide response concept for hastily case detection, isolation and remedy to interrupt transmission and alter the pandemic
JEAN BAPTISTE, Anne Eudes. E-mail: jeana [at] who.int; Tel: +234 813 173 6281