By Paul Ukpabio
BOSS Mustapha, secretary to the Government and chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19, has today, flagged off vaccination against the disease in Nigeria.
The event which took place in Abuja the nation’s capital according to Mustapha, “marks another great mile stone in the National Response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and we have every course to be hopeful and more determined to win this war.”
He said that the human activities that culminated in the arrival, authorization and distribution of vaccines have shown that humanity, when working for a common goal and unity of purpose, possess the capacity to achieve a lot.
“This is more so because the virus spread around all countries and territories of the world with alarming speed, recorded millions of infections and fatalities, without discrimination on the basis of sex, creed, tribe, language and even status.
“For us in Nigeria and indeed, nations of the world, the lessons to be drawn from this lack of discrimination by the virus, are numerous. They include the fact that, “we must approach the vaccines phase with unity of purpose; we must understand that nobody is safe until everyone is vaccinated; we must recognize that vaccine hesitancy will impact negatively on our lives and those of our loved ones, if allowed to fester; we must demonstrate at all times, that this is war of NPIs + vaccines for the survival of every one; we must believe our government on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines brought to Nigeria; and we must support the planned and systematic roll out of the vaccines and mobilise our citizens as we move into the States.”
Mustapha emphasized that the PTF will prioritize the frontline healthcare workers in the first batch of vaccines received. And that is because:
“They have fought hard to save us. They laid down their lives for us, and in the ICUs and treatment centres, they became our last line of defense, so on behalf of the President, Government and people of Nigeria, I salute our heroic frontline medical personnel for their professionalism and commitment to saving lives,” he said.
He assured further that the ceremony witnessed today, marks the beginning of a well detailed vaccination plan that will reach every eligible Nigerian at the appropriate time over year 2021 and 2022, when it is hoped that 70% of Nigerians would have been covered and herd immunity would have been achieved.
He reiterated that, the vaccines will be arriving in batches and urged all Nigerians to be patient, along with the relevant Agencies of the Federal Government and Sub-national entities managing the deployment process.
“This is a novel rollout, just like the virus. Let me state categorically that vaccines are very sensitive life-saving commodity and the only authorized source is the Federal Government that has signed indemnity with the manufacturers. I therefore appeal to Nigerians not to patronize fraudsters who are out to defraud, get rich and in the end, endanger your lives. We must be vigilant,” he added.
– Mar. 5, 2021 @ 9:31 GMT /