Over three million vulnerable persons need jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said on Monday.
Ms Farouq while speaking at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said it will be working with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), to reach this group of people.
“The ministry is now working to support vulnerable persons under our purview that requires vaccination in line with the NPHCDA’s plan to reach this group in the second phase,” Ms Farouq said.
“Data mined from the National Social Register and various agencies and parastatals under the ministry has now shown that over 3 million persons need this vaccination,” she said.
She said the vulnerable group includes the elderly, Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWDs), Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the vulnerable poor.
She noted that a proper sensitization exercise will be conducted before the administration of the vaccine.
“We will ensure that they are properly sensitized of the risk and side effects and receive psychosocial support from our social workers on issues and co-morbidities will be considered before they are administered these vaccines,” she said.
Having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in early March, Nigeria has since commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers who are often at the risk of exposure to infections being the first responders to patients.
The country also received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from the telecom giant, MTN, on Sunday, according to the Chairman of PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
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.
To achieve this, “the vaccine roll-out will be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said at a briefing.
“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.”