Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, says Nigerians who have received COVID-19 vaccines abroad will still be required to take polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests upon arrival in the country.
Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, Mamora said receiving the vaccine is not a license to disregard the already established COVID-19 travel protocol.
“The protocol is there already. They need to produce evidence of taking a PCR test within the estimated time limit before boarding and the test certificate and when they come into the country, they would need to go into isolation and on the seventh day, they take the PCR test.
“Having been vaccinated does not absolutely say that you can’t get the infection. What the vaccine guarantees is that if you get the infection, you are not likely to succumb.
“The fact that you got a vaccine is no license for you to down your guard. The things that we have said will still be in place in terms of non-pharmaceutical interventions especially when we are yet to achieve herd immunity and we can’t have that until a minimum of 70 per cent of the population is vaccinated.”
Nigeria is expected to receive 3.92m doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, March 2.
Explaining the modalities of vaccine distribution, Mamora said the frontline workers would be prioritised because they are facing the battle against the virus.
“Secondly, the elderly; those above 60 and 65 particularly with existing health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and things like that. Of course, we will also be looking at the strategic leadership of the country and some other people like border post managers; the people at the point of entry,” he said.
The minister said the president and other strategic leaders of the country will take the vaccines in public to boost confidence in Nigerians.