‘Why We Delayed Covid-19 Vaccine Roll out’ -NPHCDA

L-R: Dr. Walter Kazadi, WHO Country Representative, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA) has justified it’s delay in commencement of the 2nd phase of covid-19 vaccination exercise in the country.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of NPHCDA gave the hint at a press briefing today in Abuja.

He said that the delay witnessed in the rollout of the vaccine was as a result of their continued commitment to work with their partners and other agencies to ensure that when the vaccines were rolled out, they will be as successful as what was witnessed during the 1st phase of the vaccination rollout.

TheFact Nigeria gathered that the success of the 1st phase of the vaccination rollout attracted commendations from the international community, hence the country’s attempt to maintain that status.

Dr. Shuaib further disclosed that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) took samples of the vaccines to test for their integrity, their consistency with what the global standard is, what the Nigerian standard is and to ensure that it was in line with the product information that has been provided by the US Government and Moderna.

“NAFDAC has come back to state that they have approved the Moderna vaccine for use”, he added.

Speaking further, the NPHCDA boss hinted that in the 1st phase of vaccination rollout, the collaboration between NAFDAC and NPHCDA led to the first ever tracking and tracing of vaccines globally.

This tracking and tracing of vaccines from the National level to subnational level and then to the point of administration he said was conducted for the first time in Nigeria as well.

“This is an innovative mechanism that made it possible for us to clearly monitor our stock from the National Strategic Cold store in Abuja all the way to where the vaccines are being administered.

“This is why when we had said we had finished the 1st phase of the vaccination on the 9th of July, it was that there were no vaccines available anywhere and this kind of accountability is what we want to replicate in the phase 2 of the vaccination rollout”, Dr. Shuaib explained.

He debunked previous media reports that seemed to suggest that they were delaying the rollout of the vaccines due to documentations of the vaccine and explained that the reason for postponing the launch date of the vaccine was because they wanted to institute in conjunction with NAFDAC, the track and trace all the way to health facilities where the vaccines would be administered.

To this end, Dr. Faisal disclosed that they were currently wrapping up the training of about 40,739 health workers across the National, State and Ward level on phase 2 strategic covid-19 vaccine roll out plan with focus on improving the delivery, communication, data management, management of the vaccines and logistics that were needed.

The NPHCDA boss revealed the agency’s plan to integrate COVID-19 vaccination with other basic PHC services such as childhood vaccination, screening for hypertension, diabetes, malnutrition, and give residents another opportunity to listen to NPHCDA and sister health agencies on how to improve on personal hygiene, water and environmental sanitation, in view of the large number of cases of cholera being reported across the country.

He assured the public that COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of brand, as long as they have been approved by NAFDAC, provide adequate protection against the disease and encouraged those who had taken the vaccine to speak to their loved ones, friends, colleagues and encourage them to get vaccinated.

The flag off and roll out of the 2nd phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination program will be done on August 16th, 2021.

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