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FMC Chief Medical Director urges Nigerians to register for COVID-19 vaccination

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[FILES] A health worker displays a vial containing the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo/ AFP

Prof. Saad Ahmed, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, Abuja, has advised Nigerians
to take advantage of the website launched by government to register and make themselves available for COVID-19 vaccination.

Ahmed made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, as he expressed delight over the March 2, 2021 arrival
of the first tranche of the COVID-19 vaccine into the country.

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He urged Nigerians who were still skeptical about the COVID-19 vaccine to come out of their shells and get vaccinated against the deadly virus, saying the vaccine is safe.

He said “we have all seen and know that COVID-19 is real. Some people have either lost one or more of their relations or seen some of the people that have actually gone down the line with the virus.

“Therefore, there is need to apply preventive measures. One of such measures is actually the vaccination.

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“You have to trust the scientists. You have to trust the health professionals in this regard. This is real. The vaccine is safe.

“We call on Nigerians to key in and see that they are vaccinated. It is all about protecting ourselves together.

“If it is just a small segment of the population that is vaccinated, it means you have quite a large number that will remain unvaccinated and they will be liable to have the disease.

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“That is not what the government wants. So I will call on all Nigerians to log on to the website, register and receive the vaccination,’’ Ahmed said.

The chief medical director commended the Federal Government over the received 3.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the country.

The government on March 2, 2021 received 3.94 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, shipped into Nigeria via the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.

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The government then launched a website to register Nigerians for the vaccination, through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA).

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to log on to the NPHCDA website — nphcda.gov.ng and click on ‘COVID-19 Vaccination e-registration.

Ahmed described the acquiring of the vaccines as show of commitment on part of the government toward the fight against the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

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He added that “yes, it may not be enough to go around but at least we have quite a lot to start with. It is a serious commitment on the part of government and we are happy with the gesture.’’

He expressed hope that with the website the vaccination process would be quite smooth and the people that would be vaccinated would be prioritised in the first instance.

“The government has started well by being transparent by opening this registration point, which is online.

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“Everybody can apply and then choose where he wants to take the vaccine and even the time he wants to go and do it.

“ I will advise that there should be close monitoring of this process to ensure that everything goes on smoothly without necessarily bringing some negative narration into the whole thing.
“For now, I think we have seen positive attitude toward rolling out this vaccination.’’

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Asked what the arrival of the vaccines meant for health workers, Ahmed said it meant hope as Nigerian health workers were jubilating and waiting to be vaccinated.

He said “as you know, health workers are on the frontlines.

“They are looking forward to getting vaccinated and also calling on all other Nigerians to take a cue and get vaccinated as well.’’

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