Published March 4, 2021
• Kano expects 155 ,000 doses
• Delta plans to vaccinate three million residents
• We ’ve received our consignment – Edo
• No state has received allocation – Agency
• We will know our allocation at Thursday’ s meeting, says Plateau commissioner
By our correspondents
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has convened a meeting with commissioners for health in the 36 states as part of efforts to ensure effective sharing and distribution of COVID – 19 vaccine.
The Plateau State Commissioner for Health, Dr Nimkong Lar, and his counterpart in Cross River State , Dr Betta Edu , who disclosed this in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Wednesday , said the meeting would hold in Abuja on Thursday ( today) .
It was gathered that some commissioners met the Federal Government officials on Wednesday over the distribution of the vaccine.
Nigeria on Tuesday received 3 .94 million doses of the Oxford -AstraZeneca COVID – 19 vaccine , becoming the third African country to benefit from the COVAX facility after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
COVAX , an initiative co -led by the Vaccine Alliance , GAVI and the World Health Organisation . seeks to ensure equitable access to a COVID – 19 vaccine by dividing about two billion doses across 92 low -and middle – income countries .
While receiving the vaccine on behalf of the Federal Government , the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19 , Boss Mustapha , had said , “ The consignment of the vaccine is just 3 .924 million doses of the expected 16 million doses from the COVAX Facility .”
Recall that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency had on Monday commenced online registration of Nigerians interested in taking COVID – 19 vaccination .
Confirming the meeting to one of our correspondents on Wednesday , the Plateau State commissioner for health said, “ As I am talking to you , I am on my way to Abuja for a meeting with the minister of health . All the commissioners for health in the 36 states will also be there for the meeting on Thursday ( tomorrow) . ”
We will know our allocation at Thursday ’ s meeting – Plateau commissioner
When asked the amount of doses that would be allocated to the state , Lar stated , “ I won ’ t be able to give you that figure for now until after the meeting tomorrow ( Thursday ) .
“ When we get our own allocation, I am sure we will start the vaccination starting with people that are at the high risk of contracting the virus , especially frontline health workers and the aged .”
Also, the Cross River State commissioner for health, in a chat with The PUNCH , confirmed that the meeting would hold on Thursday ( today) .
She disclosed that she would attend the meeting with the minister of health and that the distribution of the COVID – 19 vaccine to states would top the agenda .
Edu stated, “ The discussion tomorrow is the distribution of the vaccines and the inauguration . ”
Delta plans to vaccinate three million people
But the Delta State Commissioner for Health Dr Mordi Ononye, in a telephone with The PUNCH , said that the state planned to vaccinate three million people .
According to him, the vaccination will begin with the state Governor , Ifeanyi Okowa , and frontline health workers .
Ononye, said, “ You know Delta State has over four million people , so, we are expected to vaccinate about three million Deltans . ”
In Benue State, the Commissioner for Health and Human Services , Dr Joseph Ngbea, said the state would begin the training of 46 primary health care workers .
He also said the vaccination would start with the state Governor , Samuel Ortom , and his deputy , Benson Abounu as well as members of their families .
The commissioner stated , “ We are starting training of workers tomorrow ( Thursday ) . It is when we meet that we look at the people that will take the vaccine.
“ We must ensure that every local government has cold chain and we will train the health officials ; two primary health care officers from each local government area . ” There are 23 local government areas in the state .
Kano expects 155 , 000 doses from FG
On its part , the Kano State Government says it is expecting no fewer than 155 ,000 doses of the COVID – 19 vaccine from the Federal Government .
The Coordinator of the state Task Force on COVID – 19 , Dr Tijjani Hussaini , disclosed this in a telephone interview with The PUNCH in Kano on Wednesday .
He stated , “ Although we have not finalised the issue of the number of doses to be given to each state , Kano is expecting no fewer 155 ,000 doses of the vaccine from the Federal Government .
“ We hope to begin the vaccination any time after March 12 , 2021 when the exercise would have been inaugurated at the national level . ”
Lagos awaits its share , says storage facilities ready
The Lagos State Government says it is awaiting its share of the COVID -19 vaccine, adding that it has prepared facilities to store the doses .
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy , Mr Gbenga Omotosho, in an interview with one of our correspondents , said the state Governor , Mr Babajide Sanwo – Olu , had inaugurated a committee to handle all aspects of the vaccination .
He said, “ We are waiting to receive our own consignment from Abuja . Lagos is ready in terms of cold safe management and logistics. The Federal Ministry of Health has published a strategy for administering the vaccine and we are keying into that .
“ As far as storage is concerned , we are ready for that. We already have a committee in place inaugurated by Governor Babajide Sanwo – Olu to handle the vaccine’ s arrival, storage , who and who to be vaccinated , how many of our people we can vaccinate and all other details . The committee has been working and all we are awaiting is the arrival of the vaccine .”
Asked the capacity of the storage facilities available in the state , Omotosho said the state could accommodate all the doses the government was bringing into the country .
“ The storage facilities are not just in one place ; we have them in different places . If they give us everything coming into Nigeria, we have the capacity to store ,” he added .
Anambra State said it would adopt the global standard practice in selecting the beneficiaries of the vaccine .
The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment , C -Don Adinuba , said the state would not deviate from the standard practice .
He said , “ There is a global policy starting with frontline workers , after them , people from 65 years and above will be vaccinated .”
The Ebonyi State Government said it had commenced training of over 3000 health workers .
The Permanent Secretary , Ministry of Health, Dr Chris Achi , stated this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Wednesday , in Abakaliki .
Achi stated , “ For now , what the Federal Government got is less than 4 million doses of the vaccine and more is being expected by the Federal Government . The doses will be distributed across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory . This will be shared according to the population of each state .
“ But what have started doing is training of health workers who will be on ground to assist us. We are also sensitising the masses for them to know that the vaccines are safe. ”
The Kwara State Executive Secretary of Primary Health Care Development Agency , Dr Nusirat Elelu , said the state was compiling a list of health workers who would be vaccinated .
“ It is after compiling that figure that we will know the number of people that will be vaccinated against COVID – 19 ” , she said.
The Epidemiologist of Ondo State, Dr Stephen Fagbemi , told The PUNCH that the state had yet to know the number of the doses of the vaccine that it would receive .
He said, “ For now , we can ’t say the amount of doses of the vaccine we will need to vaccinate our people . The number of the doses sent to us in Ondo would determine the number of the people to vaccinate . We can’ t say much until the vaccine gets here and the vaccination would start as soon as the state receives it .
“ So it is difficult to give the number of people . I know when the Federal Government wants to start the distribution , it will make it public for everybody to see . It is going to be a transparent exercise and when it gets here too , we are going to be transparent in the distribution . ”
The Co- chairman of the Vaccination Committee for coronavirus in Osun State , Dr ‘Siji Olamiju, when contacted said he could not say the number of doses that would be given to the state.
Olamiju, who is the Special Adviser on Public Health to the governor , said , “ The meeting is still going on in Abuja . I can ’t answer the question on the number of doses now . The committee for vaccination was inaugurated by his Excellency yesterday ( Tuesday ) .
“ The Commissioner for Health is the chairman and I am the co -chairman of the committee. The commissioner is in a meeting with the minister of health in Abuja as regards the sharing. ”
We have received our consignment, Edo claims
But while other states said they had not received the vaccine, the Edo State Government on Wednesday disclosed that it had got its share of doses of the vaccine.
In a statement , Secretary to the State Government , Osarodion Ogie , said doses of the AstraZeneca COVID -19 vaccines were in the custody of the state government , with the government finalising arrangements for its deployment across the state .
Ogie noted that the state was preparing a localised distribution mechanism for the rollout of the vaccines in line with the national plan .
He said: “ The Edo State Government is in custody of doses of AstraZeneca COVID – 19 vaccines received from the Federal Government for distribution in the state .”
But the Executive Director of the NPHCDA , Dr Fasail Shuaib, told The PUNCH that contrary to the claim of Edo State Government , the agency had not given any vaccines to any state .
He said, “ We have not given any state vaccines sir .”
When The PUNCH called the state Covid- 19 Incidence Manager Dr Andrew Obi , on the phone , he did not take his calls . He also did not respond to a text message sent to his number .
Also, the SSG , Ogie who signed the press release announcing that the state had received the vaccine, did not reply the text message sent to his line .
But an Edo State Government source insisted that the state got its allocation from the Federal Government .
The Ogun State Government has described as worrisome the reaction of the people of the state to the COVID -19 vaccine .
The state Commissioner for Health , Dr . Tomi Coker , said this on Wednesday , while speaking to one of our correspondents on the preparation of the state to receive the vaccine.
She stated , “ The question we should be asking is , how many people will be willing to take the vaccine. From the conversations I have been having with people , people have been insensitive to it .
“ Where I sit right now , I’ m not concerned about if we have enough doses . I am more concerned about our people coming out to take it when it is available because we ’ve been going out , creating knowledge about it and the feedback from the people is very worrisome . ”
Friday Olokor , Samson Folarin, James Abraham, Ada Wodu , Matthew Ochei , John Charles , Tukur Muntari, Tony Okafor , Edward Nnachi, Tunde Oyekola, Peter Dada , Bola Bamigbola , Daud Olatunji , and Adeyinka Adedipe