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Nigerian Frontline Workers Begin to Administer First COVID-19 Vaccines




Nigeria received the country’s first vaccine allocation to fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. Cyprian Ngong was administered the first of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on March 5, 2021, by Faisal Shuaib, the CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Ngong is a medical doctor at the National Hospital Abuja who has been on the frontline since Nigeria’s first case of the disease. The second person inoculated was another doctor who attended nearly 11,000 COVID-19 patients since the onset of the pandemic, reports TheCable news.

Speaking to reporters and onlookers after his inoculation, Ngong mentioned he wished his father had lived to be vaccinated. His dad died months earlier.

We lost him and the fight is still on and we will win…I have dreamt of taking this vaccine, and I have taken the vaccine. Thank you very much.

These historic moments came exactly 372 days after Nigeria’s first confirmed case of the virus on Feb. 27, 2020. As of March 7, 2021, the country has handled 158,237 cases. Of those, 1,964 individuals died as a result of the disease.

The COVAX facility donated 3.9 million doses of the long-awaited vaccine that arrived on Tuesday, March 2. But could not be administered until Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) issued its final approval hours before Shuaib administered the first injection.

vaccineVaccine Rollout Strategy

In mid-February, Shuaib announced who would be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Using the World Health Organization, those who fit into the following criteria will be inoculated: frontline workers, their support staff, including people who work in high-risk areas such as intake personnel.

Also eligible to be vaccinated are members of these teams: rapid response, contract tracing, COVID-19 vaccination, and strategic leadership.

All those at least 50 years old and older, 18-24-year-olds with significant co-morbidities, and additional at-risk groups can be vaccinated. Anyone younger than 18 will not be included in those eligible for a shot. Pregnant women can be vaccinated if their healthcare provider makes such a recommendation.

Shuaib said the government believes they can vaccinate all eligible Nigerians within the next 24 months. They expect 58.6 million vaccines from COVAX, the African Union, AstraZeneca, and India’s government.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


TheCable: Nigeria administers first dose of COVID vaccine on frontline health worker
TheCable: My dad wouldn’t have died of COVID-19, says Nigeria’s first vaccine recipient
TheCable: Under-18s excluded, house-to-house reg — what to know about FG’s vaccine rollout
The COVAX Facility: FIRST ROUND OF ALLOCATION: ASTRA ZENECA/OXFORD VACCINE (manufactured by AstraZeneca & licensed and manufactured by Serum Institute of India) Feb-May 2021
WHO: With a fast-moving pandemic, no one is safe, unless everyone is safe

Featured and Top Image by Awwal Bissala Courtesy of IAEA Imagebank’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of GPA Photo Archive’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Cathy Milne-Ware is a seasoned writer and editor. Her background: Journalism for online and print newspapers, new website content from the about page to blog posts, newsletters, book reviews, and social media content. She enjoys writing Health, Entertainment, and Political news stories.

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