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PTF warns Nigerians against getting COVID-19 vaccines at black market

Published by The Nation on Tue, 23 Feb 2021

By Bolaji Ogundele and Moses Emorinken, Abuja,The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Pandemic has warned Nigerians not to patronize uncertified vaccines from the black market.Its Chairman and Secretary to Government of Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, who gave the warning during the task forces news conference in Abuja yesterday, assured that Nigeria would soon receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines.According to him, 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.Read Also: Concerns as Ebola resurfaces in time of COVID-19Vaccines 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: 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.The PTF wishes to reassure Nigerians that no stone will be left unturned in the effort to access safe and efficacious vaccines. We, therefore, plead for patience and vigilance. We also plead with Nigerians not to procure uncertified vaccines from the black market.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.He said: Most countries have registered significant declines in cases but amongst the top 5, the decline in Brazil is still minimal. The African Region has shown high decline and South Africa continues to record a sustained daily decline in cases.He also gave the situation report of the pandemic in Nigerian, noting that as of February 21, 2021, Nigerian statistics show the following: cases: 152,074; fatalities: 1,839; recoveries: 128,668; active cases: 21,567 and number of tests: 1,489,103.On the emerging issues on international travels involving the Emirates and the KLM airlines, he asserted that discussions are still ongoing through the Foreign Affairs and Aviation Ministries.Once again, we wish to assure Nigerians that our conclusions shall be in the interest of Nigerians, the PTF boss declared.
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