Over 60 million Nigerians fully vaccinated — Agency

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, on Friday, said over 60 million Nigerians of the total eligible persons targeted for the COVID-19 vaccination had been fully vaccinated.

The NPHCDA said the proportion represented over 54 per cent of the target population.

It also said over 70 million Nigerians of the target population had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, representing over 65 per cent of the target population.

The NPHCDA disclosed this on Friday in Abuja at the national evaluation meeting of milestone achievements in COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

Presenting the COVID-19 milestones, Dr. Adejoke Oladele of the NPHCDA said, “In November 2020, with the guidance of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the NPHCDA set up the COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy Group and Technical Working Groups comprising government officials, partners, and donors to drive the process of the COVID-19 vaccination.

“The SG identified the target population for COVID-19 vaccination to be persons 18 years and above, which is 51.4 per cent of the population (111,776,503 persons). A national target of 70 per cent coverage was set for the end of the fourth quarter of 2022.

“In March 2021, Nigeria received about four million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility, and on March 5, 2021, administered the first dose of COVID -19 vaccine to health workers in the National Hospital, FCT, Abuja.

“Since then, the country has received over 127.5 million doses of Oxford AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as donations from friends of Nigeria, COVAX facility, and purchase by the Federal Government of Nigeria via the African Union’s African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

“The United State Government’s vaccine donation to Nigeria currently stands at 32.6 million doses among other support.

“In collaboration with the United State Government, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Children’s Fund, other international and Local partners, and Non-governmental Organisations, the Nigerian Government has strived to ensure COVID-19 vaccines, routine immunisation, and other PHC services reach every corner of the country to ensure all persons receive basic health care.

“To date, over 54 per cent of the target population has been fully vaccinated, translating to over 60 million persons.”

The progress report of vaccination in the country shows that as of December 14, the top five performing states in COVID-19 vaccination are Jigawa, Nasarawa, Osun, Kaduna, and Kano.

Dr. Oladele added that there was a need to define and implement key interventions to reduce inequalities in vaccination, and primary health care services in alignment with the government’s priorities in reducing the number of zero-dose and under-immunised children.

In his remarks, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the agency implemented different anti-COVID-19 mitigation and containment strategies through sustained partnership and collaboration with partners and stakeholders.

“We have adopted a framework built on the existing systems and structures while ensuring accountability frameworks are implemented at all levels.

“When we started this journey, many did not believe in our capacity to deliver due to the challenges of our health system, but with resilience and commitment, we are standing tall today to celebrate our successes.

“The celebration of COVID-19 milestone achievements in Nigeria is a win-win situation, not only for the government of Nigeria and its development partners but for our traditional and religious leaders, Civil Society Organisations, private sector, and the media for partnering with us to leverage on their platforms to sensitise the public, build trust and confidence and rapidly increase uptake of the COVID-29 vaccine in Nigeria.”

On his part, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, hailed the agency and partners in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said, “It has proven that if we apply the same zeal to all sectors in this country, Nigeria will be a better place and will be a role model for the entire world. Pandemics will continue but we cannot rest on our oars, we will continue to work towards how to sensitise the public and the populace, particularly the role that the traditional rulers play, we are the closest to our people, and we are the first point of contact. Our policies are the rallying point for our people, in every community.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the national target was to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the eligible population by end of 2022.

“Although we are not there yet, we are very close with 65 per cent of our eligible population vaccinated with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 54 per cent are fully vaccinated. What interests me the most in all these data is the fact that over 60 million people are fully vaccinated while over 72 million persons have received at least one dose.

“The effect of this vaccination is the fact that deaths from COVID-19 have reduced drastically in Nigeria.

“As of 14 December 2022, cumulatively, 266,381 cases have been confirmed, 259,756 cases have been discharged and 3,155 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“Also, it is this sterling achievement that has given the federal government the confidence to ease COVID-19 restrictions.”

Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of State for Health, Joseph Ekumakama, appealed to Nigerians and all residents in Nigeria to ensure that they take their COVID-19 vaccinations as well as booster doses.

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