Written by Bolaji Ogundele and Moses Emorinken, Abuja,
The Presidential Working Group (PTF) for the COVID-19 pandemic has warned Nigerians not to protect uncertified vaccines from the black market.
Its chairman and secretary of the Federation Government (SGF), Chief Mustapha, who warned at yesterday’s press conference of the working group in Abuja, assured that Nigeria would soon receive the initial four million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to him, PTF would ensure that safe and effective vaccines are available to all citizens asking for patience and vigilance, although everyone continues to follow the advice to stick to non-pharmaceutical interventions.
Mustapha said: “The issue of vaccines continues to dominate the debates and major political and financial decisions of various countries around the world. As you know, NAFDAC issued an emergency approval for the use of AstraZeneca vaccines in Nigeria during the week. This decision was made following a prescribed procedure by the regulatory body.
“Despite this approval of the milestone, which will obviously change the game, PTF wants to emphasize the need to continue to take responsibility by observing all non-pharmaceutical measures.
“Vaccines remain critical in battle, but we must remain well informed about the intense transmission, which puts enormous pressure on hospitals, intensive care units and health workers in our various communities.
“Let me say that the decisions made by leaders and citizens will determine the level of our success in dealing with the acute phase.”
He added: “PTF is confident that Nigeria will receive the initial four million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine very soon, and Nigerians will be adequately informed of developments.
“Multi-sectoral mechanisms will be deployed to improve logistics in established” last mile “administration processes. This will include community mobilization, training, transportation, storage, operations, etc.
“Real work includes all sub-national entities, communities, citizens and civil society. We want your cooperation and support to achieve this.
“PTF wants to reassure Nigerians that there will be no stone unturned in their efforts to access safe and effective vaccines. So we pray for patience and vigilance. We also ask Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market. “
Mustapha reported that there are preliminary results of the Household Survey on COVID-19 seroprevalence, which is ongoing.
According to him, the measurement of seroprevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 in the population of selected countries (Lagos, Enugu, Gombe and Nasarawa) by sex and age group is based on the proportion of asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic or subclinical infections.
He said that the research was conducted by the WHO protocol on seroepidemiology SARS-COV-2 and that the outcome is quite encouraging.
He added that most countries recorded a significant drop in cases, but among the top five, the drop in Brazil is still minimal and that the African region has shown a high drop and South Africa continues to record a continuous daily drop in cases.
He said: “Most countries have seen a significant drop in cases, but among the top 5, the drop in Brazil is still minimal. The African region has shown a high decline, and South Africa continues to record a continuous daily decline in cases. “
He also gave a report on the situation regarding the pandemic in Nigeria, noting that as of February 21, 2021, Nigerian statistics show the following: cases: 152,074; deaths: 1,839; return: 128,668; active cases: 21,567 and number of tests: 1,489,103.
Regarding new issues on international travel involving the Emirates and KLM airlines, he noted that talks are still ongoing through the foreign and aviation ministries.
“Once again we want to convince Nigerians that our conclusions will be in the interest of Nigerians,” the PTF chief said.