The Federal Government is to engage the Nigeria Governors’ Forum on mass vaccination of citizens. It restated the December 1 deadline for federal civil servants to take the COVID-19 vaccines.
The government also warned that vaccination records/certificates would be verified to detect unscrupulous citizens who procure such cards through the black market, threatening prosecution.
In the meantime, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has assured Nigerians that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has sufficient vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50 per cent of the target population by the end of January next year, just as efforts are also ongoing to bring on board the booster dose to build a stronger level of anti-bodies.
The PSC Chairman and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, gave the updates yesterday at the regular COVID-19 briefing of the panel in Abuja.
Also speaking, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, noted that Nigeria had made tremendous strides in building its capacity to prevent, detect and respond to diseases of public health importance.
BESIDES, the NPHCDA, yesterday, said it had begun a nationwide “Operation Verify Your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Online” to check fraud and enhance the integrity of the exercise.
The Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made the disclosure at the briefing, vowed that the agency would invalidate all COVID-19 vaccination cards illegally obtained by unvaccinated people during the operation.
ALSO yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari said the rapid expansion of public and private laboratories for testing assisted the nation greatly in managing the pandemic accurately, effectively and safely.
He added that his administration provided funds for the establishment of laboratories in all federal tertiary institutions and research centres.
Addressing the second Regional Annual Scientific Conference and Induction of Elected Fellows of the West African Postgraduate College of Medical Laboratory Science (WAPCMLS), in Abuja, the President, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, observed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) assisted in training Nigerian scientists for improved capacity to conduct the test and achieve the feat.
He said with “all the assets we have and the training and skills, we must dedicate ourselves to productivity to show that we can do more.”