Nigeria on Friday commenced its COVID-19 vaccination as the first set of health care workers received a jab of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr Cyprian Ngon was the first to receive the jab.
Ngon has been working at the COVID-19 isolation centre at the National Hospital, Abuja since March 2020.
After Ngon, then Nurse Faith E. Eragbai, Dr. Nuru Joseph, and Dr. Thairu Yunusa were also given the jab.
They are all frontline medical workers.
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 President Muhammadu Buhari.
The flag-off ceremony took place at the National Hospital Abuja.
“I salute the commitment of all health workers in saving and ensuring the protection of all Nigerians. This is a novel roll-out and the only authorised source is the Federal Government. Boss Mustapha stated at the Ceremony.
Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who was at the event, also noted that “This is a time for everyone to rally round the government.
Gbajabiamila added that “the vaccines being introduced in Nigeria are safe and effective.”
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, described the moment as a “watershed”.
He said: “It’s a momentous occasion today as we administer the first dose to one of our foremost frontline Medical Doctors in the fight against COVID-19.
“Today we are going to be administering the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine to our frontline health workers. The vaccines we are administering today are safe and effective.”
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, also said: “The long-awaited day is here, by which Nigerians join others the global community to be vaccinated against the dreaded COVID-19 virus. For us in the health sector, it is the start of a tedious but hopeful exercise.
“The vaccination campaign we kick off today will be in four phases and will align with the planned arrival of vaccines in batches. Each phase targets a specific segment of our eligible population, to ensure equity in vaccine deployment.”
“Defined frontline health workers are prioritised globally, for vaccination against COVID-19, due to their exposure to the risk infection with COVID-19 virus in the course of duty.”