By Abujah Racheal
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 says Nigeria will soon receive initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the national routine briefing in Abuja on Monday.
Mustapha said: “The PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.
“The multisectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the ‘last-mile administration’ processes that have been put in place.
“This will involve community mobilisation, training, transportation, storage, operations, among others. The real work involves every sub-national entities, the communities, the citizens and the civil societies.”
He also said: “The issue of vaccines continues to dominate discussions and major policy and financial decisions by various countries of the world.
“As you are aware, NAFDAC in the course of the week granted emergency use authorisation for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. This decision was reached after due process by the regulatory body.
“Despite this milestone approval, which will obviously be a game changer, the PTF wishes to underscore the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our different communities.
“Let me state that decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of our success in tackling the acute phase.
“The PTF wishes to reassure Nigerians that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines. We therefore plead for patience and vigilance. We also plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.”
Mustapha further said that the global cases of COVID-19 keeps reducing but Nigerians must be at alert to ensure that virus was defeated.
According to him, in terms of numbers, statistics show that global cases and deaths have continued to decline.
“Most countries have registered significant declines in cases but amongst the top five, the decline in Brazil is still minimal. The African region has shown high decline and South Africa continues to record a sustained daily decline in cases.”
On issues involving international travels and bans, he said: “At the last briefing we informed you on the emerging issues on international travels involving the Emirates and KLM airlines. Discussions are still ongoing through the Foreign Affairs and Aviation ministries.”