Nigeria Flags-Off COVID-19 Vaccination

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari will be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine on Saturday, March 6th while state Governors and deputies are slated for 10th March

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Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana
Justina Asishana is a Nigerian from Edo state. She is a data and investigative journalist who also fact-checks. She covers health, agriculture, education and governance

NIGERIA: Nigeria government on Friday flagged off the COVID-19 Vaccination as the first set of frontline health workers receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine

The National Flag off ceremony of the COVID-19 vaccination took place at the National Hospital Abuja.

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The vaccination was flagged off by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.

The Flag-off

Speaking at the flag off ceremony, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said that with the state of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the country, Nigeria is close to controlling the pandemic.

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He said that the flag-off marks the start of the journey in the fight against COVID-19.

Mustapha said that it was decided that the frontline health workers would be given first because they have put their lives on the line for the Nation.

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“We are not at the end yet. We must persevere and continue regular hand washing, physical distancing, proper use of face masks.

“I salute the commitment of all health workers in saving and ensuring the protection of all Nigerians. This is a novel roll-out and the only authorised source is the Federal Government” 

Nigeria Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said that the long-awaited day by which Nigerians join others in the global community to be vaccinated is here adding that the vaccine will protect Nigerians against the dreaded COVID-19 virus. 


“For us in the health sector, it is the start of a tedious but hopeful exercise”, he said. 

He added that the vaccination campaign will be in four phases, and will align with the planned arrival of vaccines in batches. 

“Each phase targets a specific segment of our eligible population, to ensure equity in vaccine deployment. Defined frontline health workers are prioritized globally, for vaccination against COVID-19, due to their exposure to the risk infection with COVID-19 virus in the course of duty.”

The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib assured that the vaccines being administered is safe and effective adding that it is a huge day for Nigeria.

“It is a momentous occasion today as we administer the first dose to one of our foremost frontline Medical Doctor in the fight against COVID-19. The vaccines we are administering today are safe and effective” 

The First Recipients of AstraZeneca vaccine in Nigeria

The first recipients of the AstraZeneca Vaccine in Nigeria are health workers.

They are Dr Ngong Cyprian, Nurse Faith Eragbai, Dr Nuru Joseph andDr. Thairu Yunusa. 

Dr Cyprian Ngong is a Senior Registrar at the National Hospital, Abuja. He is the first person to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria. 


The vaccine was administered by Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of NPHCDA, during the flag-off of the #COVID19 vaccination drive in Abuja. 

Nurse Faith Eragbai is the Chief Nursing Officer at National Hospital, Abuja. She is the first female to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

The Recipients Speak


Dr Ngon Cyprian, the first health worker to Recieve the COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria said he is very happy to be the first health worker to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

He said that he hope the vaccine came earlier as it would have saved his father who died from COVID-19.

“I am  very happy to be the first health worker to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but I will be happier if we  get immunity against  COVID-19 by vaccinating at least 70% of the Nigeria Population” 

Nurse Faith Eragbai said that her taking the vaccine was to prove that there is no conspiracy theory with the coming of the vaccine.

“There are many misconceptions about the COVID-19 vaccine, I want to prove that the COVID-19 vaccine is simply immunization against the COVID-19 virus. As a medical person, I know the importance of  Vaccines”.


The other recipient, Dr Thairu Yunusa of the University of Abuja, Teaching Hospital said his team had admitted the fi at COVID-19 patient in FCT and he is glad that they were prioritized first by the government.

“I am proud to be among the first healthcare providers to get the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria because my team also admitted the first COVID-19 patient in the FCT. I feel so elated to be offered this protection”

COVID-19 Vaccine in Nigeria

The COVID-19 Vaccines arrived Nigeria on the 2nd of March.

Nigeria received  3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX. 

After checking and assessment, the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) gave a nod that Nigeria can go ahead and use the 3.92 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines.

The vaccine was said to have passed the final assessment with positive results.

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