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FG forces 1,030 vaccines on Kogi despite governor’s ‘no COVID-19’ claims

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The Federal Government of Nigeria on Saturday released the sharing of COVID-19 vaccines being awaited by the end of January.

CAPITAL POST reports that the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, had said the country will receive 100,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the end of January.

But in a Webinar on Friday, the Programme Manager, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Bassey Okposen revealed the administration of the expected vaccine first week of February.

The Federal government insisted that all the 36 States would have share of the vaccines including Kogi State which has been claiming ‘no COVID-19’ in the State.

CAPITAL POST reports that the State governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has denied existence of COVID-19 in Kogi and little or no measures were put in place as preventive measures.

Kogi government has stoutly disputed any death occasioned by COVID-19 in the State through the media, thereby making it difficult for medical professionals to declare their stand if there was COVID-19 or not.

But in the data shared by NPHCDA, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi and Oyo will receive more doses for health workers.

The breakdown is as follows: Kano, 3,557; Lagos, 3,131; Katsina, 2,361; Kaduna, 2,074; Bauchi, 1,900; Oyo, 1,848; Rivers, 1,766; Jigawa, 1,712; Niger, 1,558; Ogun, 1,473; Sokoto, 1,468; Benue, 1,423; Borno, 1,416; Anambra, 1,379; Kebbi, 1,268; Zamfara, 1,336; Delta, 1,306; Imo, 1,267; Ondo, 1,228; Akwa Ibom, 1,161.

Others are: Adamawa, 1,129; Edo, 1,104; Plateau, 1,089; Enugu, 1,088; Osun, 1,032; Kogi, 1,030; Cross River, 1,023; Abia, 955; Gombe, 908; Yobe, 842; Ekiti, 830; Taraba, 830; Kwara, 815; Ebonyi, 747; Bayelsa, 589; FCT, 695; Nasarawa, 661.

Okposen said, additional doses would be offered States with higher percentage of confirmed.cases.

He also noted that frontline health workers would be prioritised, while other batches would be administered to the elderly and vulnerable persons with co-morbidities based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

“We have other sources of vaccine that are non-mRNA like the COVAX vaccine. The country and other stakeholders are working towards how they can get additional vaccines from the other countries like Russia and USA,” Okposen said.

“We want to assure all Nigerians that the vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine will be introduced in four phases and this is due to the availability and quantity of the vaccine that will come in at any given time.

“When the vaccine arrives, in the plan, there’s going to be the prioritisation of persons to be given the vaccination so as to optimise the available resources and vaccines that will be received and this will be based on global best practices.

“In the first priority, when the limited doses first come in towards the end of this month and early February, will be the frontline health workers like immigration, airport, police and military on essential duties, those working in the labs and other medical practitioners.

“Those states with higher number of cases will be given additional doses. We’ve mapped out the health workers in each state and locations where these vaccines will be deployed as soon as we receive them. All the states in the country have cases and we need to get the vaccine to them all if we want to achieve herd immunity.”

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