The federal government says it will begin administering the second batch of COVID-19 vaccine doses on August 16.
According to NAN, Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, made the announcement on Monday when he featured on “Good Morning Nigeria’’, a live programme of the Nigeria Television Authority.
The federal government received over four million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the United States on August 1.
The presidential steering committee (PSC) had initially announced that vaccination would commence on August 10 but the federal government postponed it owing to “unforeseen circumstances”.
Speaking on the programme, the minister said the vaccination exercise will now begin on August 16, adding that the postponement was “purely administrative’’.
“We have received 4,80,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and we will commence administering the doses on Monday Aug. 16,” he said.
“The exercise was supposed to commence tomorrow August 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 analyse them and thereafter give us a green light for the use.”
The minister dismissed the report that the exercise was postponed indefinitely over concerned raised by some experts on the propriety of using Moderna vaccine.
He said, like the first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine which had been fully administered without any hitch, the doses of Moderna vaccine donated to the country by the US were “safe and meant to save lives’’.
“I want to thank Nigerians for the way they responded to the first batch of Astrazeneca Vaccine,” he said.
“I want to encourage Nigerians to come out also to take the Moderna vaccine.”