The President, Muhammadu Buhari, and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and frontline health workers at the National Hospital, Abuja will be the first set of Nigerians to receive AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines jabs on Saturday.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at a State House briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
The objectve of this exercise, according to Dr Shuaib, is to instill confidence in Nigerians about the safety of the vaccine.
Shuaib said, “The next step in the vaccination programme given that we’ve now received the vaccines is a launch that will be taking place at the National Hospital tomorrow (Friday). The time scheduled for that launch is 10am. The launch will be conducted by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, (Boss Mustapha).
“The plan is to vaccinate the frontline health workers that work in the treatment centre of the National Hospital, those will be the first people just like we’ve communicated that frontline health workers will be the first people to take the vaccines.
“After that, the plan is to vaccinate Mr President, Mr Vice-President and strategic leaders on Saturday. Again, we are hopeful that when Nigerians see leaders like Mr President and Mr Vice-President take the vaccines; it will increase their confidence around the safety of the vaccines.
“As you are well aware that even before the vaccines arrived Nigeria, there is a lot of hesitancy. It is a global phenomenon. Vaccine hesitancy is similar no matter where you are, you have to provide the right information and to those people who have questions, we cannot dismiss their cynicism.
“It is our responsibility as public health workers not to only offer the vaccines but do the extra work in terms of providing the resources that are needed and to convince people that these vaccines are safe.”
The NPHCDA boss also enjoined Nigerians who wish to receive the vaccines to register on the website of the agency.