NPHCDA says Buying, selling COVID-19 vaccines, cards a criminal offence

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has said buying and selling COVID-19 vaccines and cards are criminal offences as the Federal Government provides vaccines free to all eligible persons in Nigeria.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, urged Nigerians to report anyone who tried to buy or sell vaccination cards through any of the following: COVID-19 hotline: 07002201122, NPHCDA website: nphcda.gov.ng/complaints, or the nearest police station or law enforcement agency.

The NPHCDA boss said: “It is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones by getting the jab. Our vaccination exercise was expanded to enable all eligible persons to have easier access.

“All vaccination sites are open to eligible persons, 18 years and above for first, second and booster doses. We call on Nigerians to avail themselves of this opportunity in the ongoing mass vaccination exercise to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Shuaib also said over 100,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines were available in the FCT.

He noted that this was a single-dose vaccine with a booster at two months (eight weeks) after the single first dose.

“Due to the ongoing strike by the six Area Councils, only the FCT general/district hospitals are administering these vaccines.

“We have also opened service centres at number 9 Orlu St. Garki, Area 3 FCT Primary Health Care Board and PHC clinic (family health clinic) Area 2 Garki.

“We also have another Vaccination site at NPHCDA Annex Office 2 Uke St. Opposite GTB, off Ahmadu Bello Way, Garki Area11,” he stated.

He said the agency would also be focusing on the J&J vaccines in the country at the moment on those who were in the hard-to-reach areas, riverine areas, desert areas, and security-compromised areas.

“This is because the J&J vaccine requires only a single dose for full vaccination. This way our health workers will be able to do what is called a ‘touch and go’ without comprising their safety.

“I will like to assure our partners, Nigeria is committed to a safe, equitable and effective COVID-19 vaccination programme,” said Shuaib.

He explained that the availability of different vaccine brands did not in any way mean that some categories of people were selected for high-quality vaccines while others were targeted for low-quality vaccines.

“All COVID-19 vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation are safe and can deliver adequate protection against the disease.

“While the choice of vaccine is left for eligible persons to make, it is important to note that no particular vaccine brand is preferable to the other,” Shuaib assured. 

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