LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria launched on online registration portal for COVID-19 vaccinations, its primary healthcare agency said on Monday, the day before the first doses are expected to arrive for its 200 million people.
Osindeinde Ademilayo Abodede, a healthcare worker, was the first to register for the vaccine, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said in a Tweet on Monday. Her appointment was scheduled for March 12 in Abuja.
“Our goal is to introduce COVID-19 vaccine in a phased and equitable manner…ultimately vaccinating all eligible Nigerians within the next two years, to ensure herd immunity,” Health Minister Osagie Ehanire said in a statement posted to Twitter.
Nigeria is expecting 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to land on Tuesday. It will be the third West African country to take delivery under the COVAX scheme, after Ghana and Ivory Coast.
Over the coming months, Nigeria expects 16 million doses from COVAX, a facility for poor and middle-income countries co-led by Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and the World Health Organization, with UNICEF as an implementing partner.
NPHCDA said in addition to healthcare workers, it will prioritize other “frontline workers” including the military, police, Nigerians at border posts, oil and gas workers and “strategic leaders.”
NPHCDA said that it is taking a multifaceted approach to the vaccine rollout, which would include a “traditional campaign,” and house-to-house electronic registration in addition to the online portal.
Nigeria aims to inoculate 40% of its population this year and 30% more in 2022. As of Monday, it had recorded 155,657 confirmed cases and 1,907 deaths.
(Reporting by Libby George; editing by Philippa Fletcher)