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PTF members receive COVID-19 vaccines

by James Davies

Members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday received jabs of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines during their weekly national briefing.

The PTF team includes the Chairman, Boss Mustapha; Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed; Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood; Minister of State for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora; Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu; Minister of foreign affairs Geoffrey Onyeoma, and the National Incident Manager (NIM) PTF, Mukhtar Muhammad, among others.

“Today, Monday, 8th March, 2021, I will lead all members of the PTF to receive the first doses of the vaccine as a further demonstration of the safety and efficacy,” Mr Mustapha said before the vaccination exercise.

“Also, our journalists who are critical front-liners in this fight will receive the vaccine in a representative manner.”

Nigeria on Tuesday took delivery of nearly four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months. The vaccines are being provided by COVAX, an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Boss Mustapha receives COVID-19 vacine
Boss Mustapha receives COVID-19 vaccine

Upon arrival, samples were handed to NAFDAC, the Nigerian food and drug regulatory agency, for further examination.

The agency certified the vaccines safe and effective for use on Thursday night, according to Nigerian’s health minister, Osagie Ehanire.

Nigeria on Friday commenced the vaccination, beginning with healthcare workers who are often at the risk of exposure to infections being the first responders to patients.

Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor, became the first person to receive a jab of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. Three other health workers were also vaccinated during the flag-off event at the National Hospital in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also received jabs of the COVID-19 vaccines on Saturday to drive vaccine acceptance.

The PTF was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020, to coordinate and oversee the country’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

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