Prof. Saad Ahmed, the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Jabi, Abuja, has urged Nigerians to register for COVID-19 vaccination.
The CMD also advised Nigerians to take advantage of the website launched by the Federal Government to register and make themselves available for the COVID-19 vaccination.
Ahmed made the call in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja, while speaking on the arrival of COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.
He urged Nigerians still skeptical about COVID-19 vaccines to come out of their shelves and get vaccinated against the deadly virus, saying the vaccines are safe.
“We have all seen and known that COVID-19 is real. Some people have either lost one of their relations or seen some of the people that had actually gone down the line with the virus.
“Therefore, there is the need to apply preventive measures. One of such preventive measures is actually vaccination.
“You have to trust the scientists. You have to trust the health professionals in this regard. This is real. The vaccine is safe.
“We urge Nigerians to key in and see that they are vaccinated. It is all about protecting ourselves together.
“If it is just a small segment of the population that is vaccinated, it means you have quite a large number that will remain unvaccinated and they will be liable to have the disease.
“That is not what the government wants. So, I will call on all Nigerians to login to this website, get registered and receive the vaccination,’’ Ahmed said.
The chief medical director commended the Federal Government over the 3.92million doses of COVID-19 vaccine received for the country.
The Federal Government on Tuesday received 3.92million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine shipped into Nigeria via the COVAX Facility, a partnership made up of CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO.
The Federal Government had also launched a website to register Nigerians for the vaccination.
Ahmed described the acquisition of the vaccines as a show of commitment on the part of the government toward the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“Yes, it may not be enough to go round, but at least, we have quite a lot to start with. It is a serious commitment on the part of government and we are happy with the gesture,” he said.
He commended the initiative of the launched website for registration of the citizens for the vaccination.
Ahmed said that with the website, all the work around the operations on how the vaccinations would be done had been worked out by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency.
He expressed the hope that with the website, the vaccination process would be quite smooth.
He added that the people that would be vaccinated would be prioritised in the first instance before additional doses are brought into the country.
“The government has started well by being transparent, and by opening the registration point, which is online.
“Everybody can apply and then choose where he wants to take the vaccine and even the time he wants to go for it.
“I will advise that there should be close monitoring of this process to ensure that everything goes on smoothly without necessarily bringing some negative narration into the whole thing.
“For now, I think we have seen positive attitudes toward rolling out of this vaccination,” he said.
Asked what the arrival of the vaccines meant for health workers, Ahmed said that it meant hope as Nigeria health workers were jubilating and waiting to be vaccinated.
“As you know, health workers are the front lines, they see what COVID-19 has brought upon the land and these vaccines have actually brought hope.
“They are looking forward to getting vaccinated and also calling on all other Nigerians to take a cue and get vaccinated as well,” he said.