Nigeria on Friday commenced its COVID-19 vaccination as a medical doctor, Dr. Cyprian Ngong, of the National Hospital, Abuja, received a jab of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
PUNCH gathers that the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, flagged off the exercise on behalf of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
At the exercise on Friday, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, described the moment as a “watershed”.
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, also said it was crucial “to first cater for those who cater for us”.
Speaking after his vaccination, Ngong, who has been treating coronavirus patients at the National Hospital Isolation Centre in Abuja since the beginning of the fight last year, said he wished his father took the vaccine as he died of the lethal virus. He said,
“We’ve been at the forefront here in National Hospital at the Isolation Centre under the able leadership of the National Hospital. They’ve provided everything we need for this fight. We’ve lost some, we’ve got some and we are happy we are getting the vaccines now in Nigeria.
That is about the best news we’ve heard since. I only wished my dad had had this vaccine may be months ago or so. We lost him but we thank God and the fight is still on and we will win.”
Nigeria had on Tuesday received about four million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine shipped into the country through the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport.
The President and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo will, on Saturday, receive shots of the vaccines to dissipate vaccine hesitancy amongst Nigerians.