1.17m persons receive AstraZeneca vaccine – PSC

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said 1,173,869 or 58.3 persons have been vaccinated with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in the current phase.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the committee, disclosed this on Monday Abuja while speaking at the national briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC).

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, said: “The vaccination programme is still progressing but we still have reasons to intensify our campaign against hesitancy.

“As at date, records show that we have vaccinated 1,173,869, representing 58.3 persons of the eligible persons targeted in the current phase who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine. This is low in our estimation.”

Speaking on the activities of the committee the chairman said “the PSC held its first meeting today (Monday) during which it deliberated on the modalities for its operations.

“During its deliberations, the PSC remained conscious of the need to focus seriously on the areas identified and underscored by the president; sustain the tempo of the national response especially in the multisectoral approach to issues;

“Build the capacity of MDAs to manage their mandates; need to communicate; and consolidate the vaccine strategy for effectiveness.

“Going forward, the PSC has agreed to meet twice a month to deal with cross-cutting policy, leadership and technical issues; plan to hold emergency meetings should the need arise; brief the president on the national situation regularly;

“Escalate the management of the vaccine access and acquisition to the highest political level; brief the nation at least twice a month on the days of the PSC meetings; escalate Risk Communication and Community engagement;

“And allow ministers to utilise various available platforms to communicate with Nigerians on areas concerning their mandates/portfolios.

“The technical secretariat shall remain the core coordinating office on a day-to-day basis and it shall be its responsibility to escalate the issues to the PSC.”

On the situation between Nigeria and the UAE over travel requirements, the SGF said “we have reached a comfortable position acceptable to both parties”.

On aviation, Mustapha said: “You will recall that we also informed Nigerians that three international points of entry (Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu) would be reopened.

“Kano has reopened while Port Harcourt and Enugu are almost ready. The key concern of the PSC is the availability of infrastructure for Port Health Services.

“The significance of the preceding measures is underscored by the facts that several variants of concern are emerging from different jurisdictions and are capable of being imported into Nigeria.

“We continue to deploy science and data to address these cases.”(NAN)

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