COVID-19 vaccination to last for two years – Health Minister
The Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, says the Federal Government intends to vaccinate all eligible Nigerians in the next two years.
Mamora, who stated this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing in Abuja, added that Nigeria has the option of increasing the supply of COVID-19 vaccines if necessary.
He said: “For now, there will be no need for ungoverned private importation of vaccines.”
The minister said the deployment of vaccines would be undertaken by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He revealed that all manufacturers of vaccines would require an official indemnification to be able to administer their products in Nigeria.
Mamora, however, stressed that Nigeria has provided for the Covax facility.
The minister added: “Vaccines from any other sources must first have NAFDAC’s Emergency Use Authorisation and they are not covered under the indemnification arrangement.
“Such vaccines will be illegal and, therefore, subject to be impounded by NAFDAC and Customs.
“All vaccines coming into Nigeria will arrive only through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
“As the expected first batch of COVID vaccines from the COVAX facility arrives from Mumbai to Nigeria, all plans and arrangements have been finalised to ensure a hitch-free rollout of vaccination.
“Such arrangements included training of health workers, secured logistics and cold chain equipment to receive vaccines in all wards of the federation.
“The vaccines will be received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport and delivered to the National Strategic Cold Store (NSCS) in Abuja where inspection and quality testing will be conducted by NAFDAC and due documentation and certification done.’’
Mamora said the government would begin the rollout with the vaccination of frontline health workers.
“Our goal is to introduce the COVID-19 vaccine in a phased, equitable manner and ultimately vaccinate all eligible Nigerians within the next two years to ensure herd immunity.
“The World Health Organisation recommendation is not to vaccinate persons under 18 years of age, until more scientific data is available on any effects on growing children,’’ he stated.