(Xinhua/GNA) – Nigeria on Friday launched vaccination against COVID-19, beginning with health workers who have been in the frontline since the onset of the pandemic last year.
Cyprian Ngong, a Doctor at the National Hospital in Abuja, the capital, received the first jab of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine on Friday morning.
The first vaccination was administered by Faisal Shuaib, head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA).
Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, said at the kick-off ceremony for vaccination against COVID19 in the county that health workers were prioritized for the first doses of the vaccine because it was important “to first cater for those who cater for us”.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 flagged off the ceremony, representing Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Well, you can see, I just took the vaccine now and I feel good. I have dreamt of taking this vaccine and have taken the vaccine today,” said an excited Ngong while expressing his joy for being the first Nigerian to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We are glad that the vaccines are finally here. We have lost some, we have got some, and we are happy we are getting the vaccines now in Nigeria. Everything that we needed to fight this pandemic is being provided for,” he said further.
Ahead of the vaccination on Friday, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control(NAFDAC) which carried out the final assessment of the vaccine had certified it okay for use.
Confirming this development that cleared the coast for vaccination in the west African country, the NPHCDA, which is coordinating the administering of vaccines in Nigeria, said in a statement on Friday NAFDAC concluded their final checks on samples of the vaccine with positive results.
“Nigeria can now go ahead and use the 3.94 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines,” the NPHCDA said.
Buhari and his deputy Yemi Osinbajo, as well as strategic leaders in the country, are also scheduled to take doses of the vaccines on Saturday.
The country on Tuesday received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines, the much-awaited first batch of vaccines from the COVAX Facility.
It is the first of such shipments expected to be made to Nigeria in the efforts to control the spread of the COVID-19.
“We are hopeful that when Nigerians see leaders like the president and vice president take this vaccine, it will increase their confidence around the safety of the vaccines,” Shuaib, head of the NPHCDA, added.
Source: Ghana News Agency