The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has warned that states that are yet to meet the criteria for COVID-19 vaccines would not get a share of the AstraZeneca vaccines received on Tuesday.
This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday by the Executive Director of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, during a State House briefing in Abuja, who added that the vaccines will be sent only to states that will ensure that if the jabs are received, they are going to be safe.
Dr Shuaib also informed that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would be vaccinated publicly today (Friday), while members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) would have theirs on Monday.
He said; “After we are able to get our strategic leaders to publicly demonstrate that these vaccines are safe, the plan is to now go to the state level to start the launch at the treatment centres of the states and also get strategic leaders, such as governors, to publicly take the vaccines.
“By the time all of these happen, we would have finished all of the necessary preparations; we would have created a dashboard that will track very carefully the status of the preparedness of the states.
“We will not be sending vaccines to states that have not fulfilled all of the criteria that will ensure that if the vaccines get to the states, they are going to be safe.
“For example, we have communicated to the states that they have to wrap up their security around their cold stores because these are very valuable vaccines and we do not want a situation where vaccines are taken to the states and criminal elements take advantage to vandalise these cold stores.
“We are also aware that during the #EndSARS vandalism, there were some cold stores that actually suffered. I know that the state governors are trying to fix them but we have to verify those who are ready to receive our vaccines.
“We are working with the sub-national level; we are in conversation with Nigerian Governors’ Forum to see how Nigerians can rapidly get their vaccines. It is very critical that we roll out rapidly, so we can cut into any kind of mutation that can lead to the development of resistance against our vaccines,” Dr Shuaib added.
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