Cyprian Ngong, a medical doctor, has become the first recipient of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.
Ngong, after taking a shot of the vaccine said he felt good, adding that he wished his father whom he lost months ago to the virus was alive to experience this milestone.
“They’ve provided everything we need for this fight. We’ve lost some, won some and we are happy we are getting the vaccine now in Nigeria. I think that is about the best news we’ve had since and we are going to win this fight,” Ngong said.
“We’ve been at the forefront of the COVID-19 fight here in the National Hospital at our isolation centre under the able leadership of the National Hospital.”
Health workers at the National Hospital in Abuja were the first to receive the vaccines in accordance with the government’s directive that the vaccine roll-out will be in four phases.
The roll-out began with frontline health workers, laboratory network, COVID-19 rapid response team, petrol station workers, police officers and strategic leaders.
Speaking at the vaccination flag off at the National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health thanked health workers for their commitment in saving lives and assured that the vaccines were safe and effective.
He added that all eligible groups must get vaccinated as and when due. The minister enjoined citizens to encourage the elderly and those with underlying illness to get vaccinated.
Also speaking at the event, Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the PTF was keeping to its promise of prioritising the frontline healthcare workers in the first batch of vaccines received.
“They have fought hard to save us. They laid down their lives for us, and in the ICUs and treatment centres, they became our last line of defense,” Mustapha said.
“The delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccines is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next weeks.”
About four million doses of the vaccine had arrived in the country one year after its first case was reported.
Nigeria has now recorded over 155,000 cases and over 1,900 deaths, with over 800 health workers infected.