The federal government has picked a new date to roll out the second batch of COVID-19 vaccination for Nigerians.
Speaking on Monday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed announced the new date as August 16, 2021.
He made the disclosure while featuring on “Good Morning Nigeria’’ a live programme of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
It will be recalled that Naija News on Sunday reported that the government has postponed the earlier announced kick-off date for the commencement of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.
A statement on Sunday by the director of press, presidential steering committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Willie Bassey said the exercise which was earlier scheduled to start on Tuesday, was postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.
The statement however failed to give a new date for the rollout of the second round of vaccinations.
But on Monday, Mohammed gave further updates on the development, explaining that the date was postponed for purely administrative reasons.
He added that contrary to belief in some quarters, the Moderna vaccines donated by the United States are totally safe and verified for use by NAFDAC.
In his words, “We have received 4,080,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and we will commence administering the doses on Monday Aug. 16.
“The exercise was supposed to commence tomorrow Aug. 10, but we suspended it till Monday, and the reason is purely administrative.
“You see, when vaccines arrive the country, they are taken to National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
“The agency which will analyze them and thereafter give us a green light for the use,’’ he said.
He called on Nigerians to take advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus disease.
“I want to thank Nigerians for the way they responded to the first batch of Astrazeneca Vaccine.
“I can say authoritatively that we succeeded administering the four million doses of the vaccine and we do not have a single expired vaccine.
“They were all administered to the targeted population.
“I want to encourage Nigerians to come out also to take the Moderna vaccine.
The minister also reiterated that Nigeria is now officially in the third wave of COVID-19 with the confirmation of the Delta variant in some states and emphasized the need for people to get vaccinated.
“If you have our two doses, it is clear that even if you are infected with COVID-19, it will be very mild.
“You will not be hospitalized, talk less of death as opposed to the fellow that has not taken the vaccine.
“So, we must encourage people to go out and take the vaccine,’’ he said.
Alhaji Mohammed also used the opportunity to clarify some of the misconceptions about the vaccine which he said are been caused by those who spread fake news.
“For instance, they first came up with the fake news that it has magnetic effect if you take the vaccine.
“After that, they said it was meant to depopulate certain part of the country.
“ All this is not true because every vaccine you use today has been proven to be safe and to safe life.
“ If the vaccines are not safe, they will not be administered,’’ he said.