By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Federal Government has revealed that the country has achieved over 96%( 1,929,237) of its covid-19 vaccination target.
The Chief Executive of National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, made the revelation on Tuesday, in Abuja, while updating Nigerians on the status of the COVID-19 vaccination.
He said the nation has also started the second doses, and the number has reached 4,683.
Shuaib, called on Nigerians who have received their first dosage of the vaccine to check their vaccination cards for their due date.
“It is only by doing so that they can be fully protected from the disease.”
He said, “We are very pleased to announce today that we have almost completed administering all first doses included in this campaign, as of 24th May. We have now provided the first COVID-19 vaccine doses to a total number of 1,929,237 Nigerians, representing 96% of the targeted population.
In addition, we have begun providing second doses, and that number has reached 4,683. Those individuals currently eligible for second doses will have received their first dose 6 to 12 weeks ago.
“We are advising that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose, and ensure that they receive the second dose to gain full protection against COVID-19”.
While reiterating the commitment of his agency in raising more awareness on the pandemic which is currently ravaging the world, Dr Shuaib added that the agency is putting in place measures to ensure that Nigerians have access to accurate information about COVID-19 vaccination.
“As we transition to administering second doses, our teams have assessed the communication and mobilization activities that have been undertaken thus far to create awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage uptake. We will be building on the work we’ve already done in these areas to ensure that Nigerians can easily access accurate information about COVID-19 vaccination.
Our goal is to do everything possible to educate, combat misinformation, and ensure confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and to ensure all Nigerians have clear information on how, where, and when to get the vaccine. We will do this through continuous engagement and communication with communities across our country”.
On the success achieved so far, he said, “Permit me to say that the success we have achieved with the first dose is the collective efforts of all stakeholders, for which we are most grateful”.
He further disclosed that about 440,000 health workers have so far taken the core BD19 vaccine.
“Concerning the proportion of health workers that have been vaccinated so far, 440,000 health workers have taken the core BD19 vaccine. This represents about 23 percent of the total number of people who have been vaccinated so far.
“In particular, I want to use this opportunity to sincerely appreciate the father of the nation, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his exemplary leadership and for providing all the needed resources to enable us successfully conduct this unprecedented massive vaccination.
“We also wish to appreciate the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 response under the leadership of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha for his guidance. Our partners and donors have been with us providing technical support and resources.
“As most people here know by now, the global community is facing great challenges regarding vaccine supply. Like most nations, this impacts the clarity over Nigeria’s next shipment. While we have information that we may get the next consignment of vaccines by the end of July or August, these have not been officially confirmed.
When we are able to, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of the next shipment. At present, we do not have that information available due to the wider context we are in.
“However, we can update you on some positive developments. Pfizer and BioNTech pledged on Friday of last week to provide 1 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to low-and-middle income countries by the end of 2021, and another 1 billion doses in 2022. Johnson & Johnson also announced it has signed a deal to provide 200 million doses of its vaccine to Covax”.
“Separately, the International Monetary Fund is now advocating for a $50 billion fund to be spent on ensuring a faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccines globally and is calling for at least 40% of the global population to be vaccinated by the end of this year, and at least 60% by June 2022.
The fund would be used to increase COVAX vaccine coverage, procure additional tests, and expand vaccine production capacity. We strongly endorse the creation of such a fund, and emphasize that all nations must have comparable access to COVID-19 vaccines in order to end this pandemic.
Additionally, the United States announced it will donate 20 million vaccine doses by the end of June to the COVAX scheme”.
He also rolled out the rescheduled dates for the PSC’s Zonal Town Hall meetings across the remaining Zones.
He further assured Nigerians that the Federal Government has taken significant precautions to protect Nigerians against B.1.617.2, known as the Indian variant.”