President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and top Nigerian leaders are set to receive their COVID-19 vaccines live on TV.
Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), announced on Thursday that he had already announced plans to make this happen.
Shuaib, who spoke in Abuja during the regular media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, noted that the act would be consistent with what has been achieved in other countries of the world where the vaccine is received by leaders in public view.
He noted that this will not only promote awareness but also encourage others to believe in the process and safety of the vaccine.
The NPHCDA boss added however that it doesn’t mean political leaders are more valued than other citizens or even frontline health workers.
He said: “We will like to see a situation where Mr. President, the Vice-President, the SGF, critical leaders come and take the vaccine in the full glare of the public to demonstrate that these vaccines are safe. So we have to make provisions for those.”
“Even in developed countries, what we have seen is that apart from the prioritization of health workers, you have to also identify critical leaders that you don’t want them to be wiped off by the virus. For example, in warfare, if you want to destroy your enemies, you look for specific leaders, captains, the generals; once you decapitate them, then the soldiers will become weak.
“So, as much as possible, you do not want to also leave your leaders vulnerable to COVID-19, it doesn’t mean you want to prioritise politicians; that is not correct. I emphasized during the last briefing that we will prioritise our health workers because they are the ones in direct contact with cases in isolation units.”
At the PTF briefing on Tuesday, the Federal Government has revealed that it is expecting 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the country this month.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib made this known during the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 press conference held in Abuja.
He stated that the federal government will prioritize the vaccination of frontline health workers, national leaders – with “strategic country leadership” and other vulnerable persons.
According to him, the individuals will be first vaccinated from the 100,000 doses of the vaccines expected to arrive the country later this month.
In a related development, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, on Tuesday after a bilateral meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi disclosed that talks with China have begun for Nigeria to have access to COVID-19 vaccines.