Nigeria’s health staff catch the nation’s first jabs of COVID-19 vaccine

Abuja, 15 March 2021 – After Yunusa Thairu was concept to be one of Nigeria’s earliest vaccination recipients, his mom got a textual bellow message that her son had taken the COVID-19 vaccine and something sorrowful would possibly perchance per chance also happen to him. 

“She got dapper insecure and gave me a call,” the doctor recalls. “I had to pressure down to head look and vow her that I am sexy, [that] there is nothing atrocious with taking the vaccine. Upon seeing how wholesome I used to be, she agreed to catch the vaccine when it is available.”

Her son, a scientific manual at the United Nations Nigeria Isolation Center at Durumi in Abuja and with the College of Abuja Instructing Hospital Gwagwalada, is among the 1 million health staff the Government of Nigeria is focusing on within the basic segment of its nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations that open up this month.

“Things like this give me pleasure, taking the lead and others following,” says Dr Thairu. “This pandemic has impacted my work life in so many ways—I look it as a calling on the audacious ones to come reduction out and rep counted.”

Treasure Dr Thairu, many Nigerians are concerned for the vaccine. 

“I am brooding about this vaccine,” says Patience Peter. “At remaining, lets be relaxed. When each person takes it, we is now not going to possess worries of getting infected or losing any cherished one. My friends lost their fogeys and cherished ones nonetheless it has now not affected me right away, it is quiet sad to gaze of us losing their lives to something that can perchance per chance be averted. I can’t wait to rep vaccinated.”

Incorporated along with the entrance-line health staff within the basic segment of the nationwide vaccination advertising and marketing campaign are assist staff and varied health staff moreover to first responders within the militia, paramilitary and varied safety businesses, including immigration companies. 

As soon as the health staff are vaccinated, the 2d segment of the roll out will aim adults faded 50 and older (with or without an underlying illness) but initiating with these faded 60 and older. Segment 3 will settle for somebody faded 18–49 with underlying illness (such as hypertension, diabetes, lung illness, cancers and coronary heart circumstances). And the fourth segment will make bigger to someone in that age neighborhood without any underlying illness situation.

“Fairly about a quiz of generation and sensitization of severe stakeholders possess gone into the preparedness in the direction of the vaccine rollout,” stresses Dr Faisal Shuaib, Government Director of the National Most important Health Care Division Company. His agency and partner businesses, including the World Health Organization (WHO), possess deployed digital self-registration and residence-to-residence registration for the vaccination advertising and marketing campaign across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory. 

Dr Shuaib additionally emphasizes the “assurances and subsequent certification from the National Company for Food and Drug Administration and Alter” that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that the nationwide advertising and marketing campaign is initiating with “is stable to be used”.

Though he is aware about every form of COVID-19 candidate vaccines available within the market, Dr Shuaib says the Federal Ministry of Health and its businesses, the National Most important Healthcare Pattern Company and the National Company for Food and Drug Administration and Alter, will make sure that most efficient WHO-current COVID-19 vaccines are launched within the nation. “Subsequently, we’re prioritizing the selection of vaccines that will likely be rolled out – maximum two or three, reckoning on availability.” 

Nigeria is slated to receive 84 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility, co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Improvements, working in partnership with the United Nations Kids’s Fund, the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers and others. COVAX is piece of the Ranking right of entry to to COVID-19 Instruments (ACT) Accelerator, a ground-breaking world collaboration to scamper building, production and equitable rep entry to to COVID-19 assessments, treatments and vaccines. 

Thru the African Export-Import Bank and the African Union, Nigeria will receive 41.3 million vaccine doses initiating in April. 

“We’re now not ruling out some vaccine hesitancy from the public, but we’re placing measures in place to coach and sensitize the electorate that the COVID-19 vaccine is stable and efficacious,” assures Dr Shuaib.

Dr Thairu needs to reduction give protection to that message of stable and effective. “The misinformation on recordsdata media is alarming,” he says. “Fairly about a messages on use non-pharmaceutical guidelines on how to terminate and remedy COVID-19 are happening and on. I mediate here’s time for us to utilize social media and the likes to attain awareness on this vaccine and bellow of us of its significance to containing the illness.” 

Godwin Okpara, as an illustration, is now not particular if he’ll catch the vaccine. He admits the conspiracy theories possess him nervous, and he wonders how the vaccine will impact him within the smash. “I possess lost two cherished ones in this pandemic, and I don’t desire to lose any varied particular person,” he admits. But he would not know what to believe. “I and my family are quiet deliberating on taking it when it becomes available for each person.”

The federal government technique to amassed fears and possess queues for the anti-coronavirus vaccination encompass excessive-profile recipients like the nation’s president and vice-president (already jabbed), bid governors and deputy governors, speakers of every Advise Condominium of Assembly, chief judges and non secular leaders.  

“We can proceed to utilize all available channels and media to bellow the public and present clarifications where wanted,” Dr Shuaib says. 

“This vaccine coming in is a morale booster,” cheers Dr Thairu. “This could perchance boost our self assurance as health staff and our skill to soak up more sufferers and eradicate COVID-19. It goes to supply us multiplying outcomes as more of us are now interesting to participate within the response.”


Technical Contacts:

JEAN BAPTISTE, Anne Eudes. Electronic mail: jeana [at] who.int; Tel: +234 813 173 6281

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