The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has warned Nigerians not to patronize uncertified vaccines from the black market.
The Chairman of the taskforce and Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, who gave the warning during the task force’s news conference in Abuja, assured that Nigeria would soon receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines.
He informed that the PTF would ensure that safe and efficacious vaccines would be made available to all citizens, pleading for patience and vigilance, even as everyone continues to observe the advice to stick to the non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Mustapha said: “The issue of vaccines continues to dominate discussions and major policy and financial decisions by various countries of the world. As you are aware, NAFDAC in the course of the week granted emergency use authorisation for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria. This decision was reached after due process by the regulatory body.
“Despite this milestone approval, which will obviously be a game-changer, the PTF wishes to underscore the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all the non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Vaccines remain critical in the battle but we must remain well informed because of the intense transmission, which is putting enormous pressure on the hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our different communities.
“Let me state that decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of our success in tackling the acute phase.”
He added that the PTF has been assured that Nigeria shall receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon and Nigerians will be adequately informed on developments.
“The multi-sectoral machinery will be deployed to enhance the logistics to the ‘last-mile administration’ processes that have been put in place. This will involve community mobilisation, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc.
“The real work involves every sub-national entities, the communities, the citizens, and the civil societies. We crave your cooperation and support to achieve this.
Mustapha informed that there have been preliminary results from the COVID-19 Seroprevalence Household Survey, which is on-going.
According to him, it is to measure the seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in the population of selected states (Lagos, Enugu, Gombe and Nasarawa) by sex and age group based on a fraction of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or subclinical infections.
He said the survey was carried out by WHO protocol on SARS-COV-2 seroepidemiology and the outcome is quite encouraging.
He added that most countries had registered significant declines in cases, but among the top five, the decline in Brazil is still minimal and that the African Region has shown a high decline and South Africa continues to record a sustained daily decline in cases.