About100,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses are expected to be administered to Nigerians by the first week of February 2021 after taking delivery of the vaccines by the end of January.

This is even as it hasbeen revealed that out of the number; only 1,766 doses have been allocated toRivers State. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA),during a webinar tagged “Sensitisation Meeting with Media Gatekeepers onCovid-19 Vaccine Introduction”, at the weekend, said no vaccine would berelease to states until facilities such as cold chains were in place.

According to theDirector, Logistics and Health Commodities, NHPCDA, Kubura Daradara, thevaccine must be administered within five days of receipt for it to remainpotent, and only the states that show commitment would receive the doses whenavailable.

She added that the 100,000 doses would be administered to 50,000 people because each person has to take a second dose 21 days after taking the first.
The NPHCDA also released the details of how the first batch of Covid-19 vaccine doses would be distributed across states.

According to theProgramme Manager, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre(NPHCDA), Bassey Okposen, the country would receive 100,000 doses of thePfizer/BioNTech vaccine at the end of January.

Okposen, who stood infor the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, during hispresentation at the webinar, said the vaccines would be administered around thelast week of January or early February.

He explained further that, states with a higher percentage of confirmed cases would be given additional doses. He also noted that frontline health workers would be prioritised, while other batches would be administered to the elderly and vulnerable persons with co-morbidities based on the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

“We have other sources of vaccine that are non-mRNA, like the COVAX vaccine. The country and other stakeholders are working towards how they can get additional vaccines from the other countries like Russia and the USA,” Okposen said.

“We want to assure allNigerians that the vaccine is safe and effective. The vaccine will beintroduced in four phases and this is due to the availability and quantity ofthe vaccine that will come in at any given time.

“When the vaccine arrives, in the plan, there’s going to be the prioritisation of persons to be given the vaccination so as to optimise the available resources and vaccines that will be received and this will be based on global best practices.

“In the first priority, when the limited doses first come in towards the end of this month and early February, will be the frontline health workers like immigration, airport, police, and military on essential duties, those working in the labs and other medical practitioners.

“Those states with a higher number of cases will be given additional doses. We’ve mapped out the health workers in each state and locations where these vaccines will be deployed as soon as we receive them. All the states in the country have cases and we need to get the vaccine to them all if we want to achieve herd immunity.”
In a data shared by NPHCDA, Kano, Lagos, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Oyo, and Rivers would receive higher doses for health workers.

The breakdown is asfollows: Kano, 3,557; Lagos, 3,131; Katsina, 2,361; Kaduna, 2,074; Bauchi,1,900; Oyo, 1,848; Rivers, 1,766; Jigawa, 1,712; Niger, 1,558; Ogun, 1,473;Sokoto, 1,468; Benue, 1,423; Borno, 1,416; Anambra, 1,379; Kebbi, 1,361;Zamfara, 1,336; Imo, 1,267; Ondo, 1,228; Akwa Ibom, 1,161.

Others are: Adamawa, 1,129; Edo, 1,104; Plateau, 1,089; Enugu, 1,088; Osun, 1,032; Kogi, 1,030; Cross River, 1,023; Abia, 955; Gombe, 908; Yobe, 842; Ekiti, 830; Taraba, 830; Kwara, 815; Ebonyi, 747; Bayelsa, 589; FCT, 695; Nasarawa, 661. This brings the total number of doses to be administered in the first phase/batch to 48,786.

It is, however, not clear what the Federal Government plans to do with the remaining 2,428 doses of the vaccine, out of the total 100,000 expected by the end of this month.
Okposen added that the Federal Government intends to administer the vaccine to, at least, 40 percent of Nigerians in 2021, and another 30 percent in 2022.