The National Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that more than 2.3 million Nigerians have already registered for COVID-19 vaccination in 24 hours.
The NPHCDA boss, Dr Faisal Shuaibu made the disclosure on Wednesday during a virtual interview.
It will be recalled that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday, 2nd March, and the federal government launched a portal for Nigerians to register to be vaccinated.
Shuaibu on Wednesday noted that feedback from the portal shows that Nigerians are excited about the portal and the number of people accessing the portal to register for vaccination keeps growing.
He added that once the completion of checks by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is completed, the roll-out of the vaccines will commence.
Shuaibu said: “I can tell you that there is a lot of excitement although, some people have raised their concerns and we are trying to address them but the enthusiasm is in less than 24 hours that the portal was launched, we have recorded about 2.3 million Nigerians who have registered to be vaccinated and the number continues to grow adding that the task placed on Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA will not be taken for granted.”
Shuaibu further clarified that contrary to worries expressed in some quarters, the AstraZeneca vaccine is perfectly safe for use.
“I also want to put it on record that the Indians are responsible for producing most of the vaccines that are produced globally and they are leaders when it comes to vaccine productions.
“For me as a public health practitioner, that is exactly where I will like Nigeria to be as there’s a lot of effort by the current administration to fast track the local production of vaccines.
“In terms of whether or not it is the same vaccine, it is the same vaccine and all of the clinical trials that are required have been done. Recall that the World Health Organisation has given approval for this vaccine to be used.
“If there was any doubt whatsoever about safety or effectiveness, they would not put their reputation on the line,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Kogi Senator, Dino Melaye has mocked the Federal Government after it received 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine from the COVAX Facility.
Newspot reports that the vaccines were received at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja on Tuesday on behalf of the government by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, National Coordinator of NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, and Chief Executive Officer of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib.
Reacting to the development, the former lawmaker asked if the vaccine will cure hunger, stop terrorism, bandits, and kidnapping ravaging the nation.
“Covid vaccine dey cure hunger? The vaccine go stop terrorism, bandits, and kidnapping? If no….Bubu comot for road jare. Give me boli make I chop I beg. SDM,” he wrote.