Why FG delayed rollout of 2nd phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination- NPHCDA

By Christiana Onuoha

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuiab, has explained that the delay in the rollout of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination despite receiving the consignment early this month was not due to documentation as speculated in a section of the media.

He made the explanation at a media briefing in Abuja, Tuesday.
The rollout of the vaccination exercise, he said, was delayed because, according to him, the NPHCDA wants to, in conjunction with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) institute once again the track and trace all the way to health facility where the vaccines would be administered.
“The media reports that seem to suggest that we are delaying the rollout of the vaccines due to documentations of the vaccine is not correct.

“On the contrary the reason why we had to extend/postpone the launch date of the vaccine is because we want to institute once again in conjunction with NAFDAC the track and trace all the way to health facility where the vaccines would be administered.
“This means that we are locally creating labels for the vaccines barcode that will ensure that this tracking and tracing continues just like we did in the 1st phase.

“Consequently, we want to call on all Nigerians to remain assured that the vaccines that we have are safe and will be deployed next week as earlier communicated.

“The flag off and roll out of the 2nd phase of the COVID-19 Vaccination program will be done on August 16th, 2021.”

While applauding Nigerians for their understanding and patience, Dr. Shuib said: “It is important to mention that the delay witnessed in the rollout of the vaccine is as a result of our continued commitment to work with our partners and other agencies to ensure that when we roll out the vaccines they are as successful as what we witnessed during the 1st phase of the vaccination rollout.”

He disclosed that his agency is currently wrapping up the training of about 40,739 health workers across the national, state and ward level “on our phase 2 strategic vaccine roll out plan with focus on improving the delivery, communication, data management, management of the vaccines and logistics that are needed.”

He disclosed that 3363 teams will be used, 2690 teams manning the fixed post and 673 manning temporary fixed post which will go from settlement to settlement especially around areas where people will congregate for example the houses of the traditional leaders, the markets and motor parks.

Speaking, the World Health Organisation (WHO) County Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, charged Nigerians to be mindful of discontinuing public health and social measures including maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places and always observing hand hygiene.
“Relaxing them too early could see us losing some of the gains that vaccines have enabled us to make,” he warned.

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