November 30, 2021

COVID-19: Only 2.9% of eligible Nigerians fully vaccinated

About eight months after Nigeria commenced the vaccination of its citizens against the coronavirus pandemic, more than three million eligible persons have been fully vaccinated.

The executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at a briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Monday.

Mr Shuaib said 5,891,305 eligible persons have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing 5.3 per cent of the eligible population.

He said; “As of this morning, Monday, November 15th, 2021, a total of 5,891,305 eligible persons have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

“This represents only 5.3 per cent of the overall eligible population while 3,252,067 have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated, thereby representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons.”

He explained that the overall population of eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination to enable the country to reach herd immunity against the disease is 111,776,503.

Vaccine availability

Mr Shuaib said the government has adequate doses of vaccines in store to cover a large percentage of the population.

He said Nigeria had received 3,924,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) in batches between October 22nd and 25th from the COVAX facility.

He noted that the country also received a combination of 1,022,400 doses of AZ as donations from the Governments of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, last week, through COVAX.

Mr Shuaib said the Nigerian government has received commitments of over 11.99 million and 12.2 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines respectively.

“We also have received a commitment of 4,953,600 doses of Moderna as donation from the U.S. government through COVAX. These are a few of the doses coming in batches in December and January 2022.

“We would also like to remind us that the Federal Government of Nigeria procured 39,800,000 doses of J&J COVID-19 vaccine through the AVATT and these have been coming in batches,” he said.

He appealed to persons 18 years and above and unvaccinated ”to simply walk into the nearest vaccination site to take their COVID-19 vaccine.”

“It is free, safe, effective and protects you, your family and your community. And if you have taken your first dose, check your vaccination card for your due date and ensure you take the second dose for full protection,” he said.

Mass vaccination

The official said the agency is initiating the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign to reach more persons with the vaccines.

He said the idea of mass vaccination campaign is to quickly increase the number of fully vaccinated eligible population in Nigeria.

TEXEM

This, he said, will move the country towards achieving herd immunity and creating an enabling environment for economic recovery and a return to social normalcy in the country.

“The mass vaccination campaigns will require mass mobilisation of Nigerians for increased vaccine uptake.

“This cannot be done successfully without the support of all critical stakeholders including governors, commissioners, the LGA chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, the civil society organisations, the state ministries of health, the state primary healthcare boards, all health professionals and our professional media community,” he said.

Mr Shuaib said efforts are ongoing to engage with stakeholders to promote awareness and vaccine confidence.

He said the government aims to vaccinate at least 50 per cent of the population by the end of January 2022.

“We will be conducting the National flagoff of this mass vaccination campaign this Friday November 19th 2021 by 10 a.m.,” he said.

Fake vaccination cards

Mr Shuaib said any Nigerian found obtaining the COVID-19 vaccination card illegally (buying or selling) will be made to face the law.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigeria to vaccinate 109 million citizens in two years – Official

He said the Joint Task Force on COVID-19 which includes security agents from the ICPC, DSS and other relevant security agencies remain on alert ”at every corner of the country and are regularly making impromptu checks.”

He noted that it would also be extremely difficult to use fraudulently obtained cards outside the shores of the country.

“There is a case of one Mr Amako who attempted to travel outside the country with a vaccination card that could not be validated.

“Upon investigation, the reason for the non-validation was that the expiry date of the 1st and 2nd dose was altered, there were inconsistencies with the vaccine expiration dates and batch number and the QR code scanned belonged to another person.

“This clearly showed that Mr Amako illegally obtained the vaccination card without getting vaccinated. He was denied travel and his case is currently with the law enforcement authorities,” he said.

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