The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has revealed that Nigerians under 18 years and pregnant women are not eligible to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
Naija News reports that the minister stated this on Friday at the flagging off of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in Abuja.
The event was attended by the President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, represented by Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe; Speaker of House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, and several other stakeholders, including representatives of donor agencies.
The minister called on Nigerians to approach the vaccines phase with the unity of purpose and understand that nobody was safe until everyone was vaccinated.
Osagie Ehanire stated that the federal government’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of Nigerians by 2023.
He said, “We must believe our government on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines brought to Nigeria, support the planned and systematic roll-out of the vaccines and mobilise our citizens as we move into the states. We must recognise that vaccine hesitancy will negatively impact our lives and those of our loved ones if allowed to fester.
“Nigerians under 18 years and pregnant women are not eligible to take the vaccine except medically certified to take the jab. It is a relief and the marking of the start of a tedious but hopeful exercise to see our citizens develop immunity against the virus.
“It is a horrifying one year to follow a gradual increase of the COVID-19 casualties in our country, especially among health workers who were also depleting our human resources.”
He added that the deployment would be in four phases and align with the planned arrival of vaccines in batches.
According to the Minister, apart from the frontline health workers, the following prioritised groups are the elderly and vulnerable with pre-existing health conditions.