Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib has on Wednesday revealed that about 2.3 million Nigerians have registered to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday, Nigeria launched a self-registration portal before the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in the country on Tuesday to try to ease the roll-out.
Speaking during a ChannelsTV interview, Shuaib expressed;
I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement. I know some people have their concerns and we are trying but I want to give you an example of the enthusiasm that Nigerians are showing around wanting to take these vaccines, around midday on Monday when we launched the e-registration platform, in less than 24 hours, we already had up to 2.3m Nigerians who had registered, and that number continues to increase.
Meanwhile, healthcare workers will be the first to be inoculated later this week.
In addition to healthcare workers, the NPHCDA stated that it will place a high priority on other “frontline workers” such as members of the military, police, Nigerians who are working at border posts, oil and gas workers, and “strategic leaders.”
The public health agency said it is taking a multifaceted approach to the vaccine rollout, which would include a “traditional campaign,” and house-to-house electronic registration in addition to the online portal.
However, the country faces immense security and logistics challenges.
Shuaib told newsmen on Tuesday;
As the vaccines arrive in batches due to limited supply we will inform Nigerians about who and where to receive the vaccine.
States without a functional airport will have their vaccines transported by road using vans with fitted cold cabins, from the nearest airport.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s secretary-general, Boss Mustapha has urged traditional rulers, religious leaders, civil society groups, and the media to spread the message that vaccinations were needed, adding: “This is a fight for everyone.”
COVAX is expected to ship 16 million doses of vaccine to Nigeria over the next few months.
COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX was launched last April to procure and ensure a fairer distribution o coronavirus vaccines between rich and poor nations.
The scheme says it would deliver two billion doses to its members by the end of the year as the world races to contain the pandemic.