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COVID-19 Vaccination: FG sets Aug 16 for phase 2

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The Federal Government has announced August 16 as new date to commence  administering  the second batch of COVID-19 moderna vaccines donated by the United States of America (USA).

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the announcement, yesterday, when he featured on ‘Good Morning Nigeria’’ a live programme of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Speaking on the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister said the postponement of the vaccination exercise from August 10 to August 16 was “purely administrative’’.

“We have received 4,80,000 doses of the moderna vaccine and we will commence administering the doses on Monday August 16. The exercise was supposed to commence tomorrow August 10, but we suspended it till Monday, and the reason is purely administrative.

“You see, when vaccines arrive the country, they are taken to National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). The agency which will analyse them and thereafter give us a green light for the use,’’ he said.

The minister debunked reports in certain publications that the exercise was postponed indefinitely over concerns raised by some experts on the propriety of using Moderna vaccines.

He said, as the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine which had been fully administered without hitch, the doses of moderna vaccine donated to the country by the US were “safe and meant to save lives’.’

“I want to thank Nigerians for the way they responded to the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccine. I can say authoritatively that we succeeded administering the four million doses of the vaccine and we do not have a single expired vaccine.

“They were all administered to the targeted population. I want to encourage Nigerians to come out also to take the Moderna vaccine.”

The minister also disclosed that the second phase of the vaccination exercise would target people from 18 years and above.

He said 18 years and above were targeted because the younger ones, even in the US, were now becoming more vulnerable to COVID-19infection and attack

Mohammed underscored the need for people to come out to take the vaccine stressing that “Nigeria has entered the third wave of COVID-19.’.”

He explained that the Delta variant of COVID-19 pandemic which is more virulent and deadly had been recorded in some states since July.

“If you have our two doses, it is clear that even if you are infected with COVID-19, it will be very mild.

“You will not be hospitalised, talk less of death as opposed to the fellow that has not taken the vaccine.

“So, we must encourage people to go out and take the vaccine,’’ he said.

 

David Abakpa

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