The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says it has commenced a nationwide training programme for healthcare workers that will be involved in the COVID-19 vaccination at the local government, state, and national levels.

The agency's Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said on Thursday, February 25, 2021 that 13,000 health care workers have already been trained in the first phase.

He said the training programme is aimed at updating the skills of the health care workers in the effective handling, storage, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

"By March, 1 2021, the training will be cascaded to the ward and facility levels where over 100,000 health workers will be trained," he said.

Shuaib noted that the vaccines will arrive in Nigeria 'in a few days', as Nigeria expects to receive millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week listed two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use, giving the green light for them to be rolled out globally through COVAX.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) also approved the vaccines days after WHO.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford product, a viral vectored vaccine called ChAdOx1-S, has been found to have 63.09% efficacy and is suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements.

Of the 88 million AstraZeneca doses allocated to African countries for the first phase, Nigeria will receive 16 million doses, the largest allocation.

Shuaib said on Thursday the government has created a self e-registration link that will enable Nigerians to personally register themselves, obtain their pre-vaccination numbers and schedule their preferred date/time for COVID-19 vaccination.

"This e-registration link will be provided in the coming days," he said.

Nigeria has recorded over 153,000 COVID-19 cases and over 1,300 deaths since its index case was detected last February.