Avoid playing politics with COVID-19 vaccines, Gbajabiamila warns

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Avoid playing politics with COVID-19 vaccines, Gbajabiamila warns



The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has warned Nigerians against playing politics with the COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country.
Mr Gbajabiamila while speaking at the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination at the National hospital, Abuja, on Friday, said this is the time for Nigerians to be united.
“We must not play politics with vaccines, we must not play politics with the health of our neighbours, we must be on the same page whilst we also, do what we need to do in terms of role in checking the government, ” Mr Gbajabiamila said.
Nigeria commenced the COVID-19 vaccination of its citizens on Friday, three days after it received 3.94 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX).
The COVID-19 vaccines arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport at about 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. Nigeria is the third Africa country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
The COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria began with health workers, who are often at risk of exposure to infections, including COVID-19, as they are the first responders to patients.
“In keeping with our promise, the PTF is prioritizing the frontline healthcare workers in the first batch of vaccines received,” the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said at the flag-off of COVID-19 vaccination at the National hospital, Abuja, on Friday.
Health workers at the National Hospital in Abuja were the first to receive the vaccines.
“They have fought hard to save us. They laid down their lives for us, and in the ICUs and treatment centres, they became our last line of defense,” Mr Mustapha said.
The Nigerian government said it aims to vaccinate approximately 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.
Health authorities said only eligible population from 18 years and above, including pregnant women, will be vaccinated.
The vaccine roll-out will be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, police officers, petrol station workers and strategic leaders, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said.“Phase 2 – Older adults aged 50 years and above. Those with co-morbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age.
“Phase 3 – Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2.
“Phase 4 – Other eligible population as vaccines become available.”
Mr Shuaib explained that an e-registration link has been created to enable eligible Nigerians to register for the COVID-19 vaccination.
“To register for COVID-19 vaccination, visit our website nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration,” Mr Shuaib said.

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