Nigeria has spent $298 million on procurement of 29 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson jab. So far, 14,093,873 eligible persons have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 5,252,406 eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated as at January 25, 2022.
Also, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) is integrating childhood immunisation and other medicare in the current phase of COVID-19 mass vaccination.
Speaking at the COVID-19 vaccination update yesterday in Abuja, NPHCDA’s Executive Director (ED)/chief executive, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, linked emergence of the various variants to the large proportion of the eligible population yet to be vaccinated, thus giving the virus time to mutate and fight back.
His words: “It is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones by getting the jab. Globally, we saw the emergence of new variants such as IHU in France, which is said to have 46 mutations, Deltacron in Cyprus and Omicron still being highly infectious with a BA.2 sub-variant rapidly spreading. More of our citizens were coming down with the infection.
“Luckily for our vaccinated population, those who came down with the infection had mild symptoms, which they managed at home due to the immunity the vaccination provided them. If they were not vaccinated, we could not have predicted how these cases would have turned out. Vaccination prevents you from severe disease, hospitalisation and death.”
The ED pointed out that Nigeria has not recorded any death arising from COVID-19 vaccination till date, stating that simple fact ordinarily should be morale booster to the safety of the jab.
He said states’ performances showed that Nasarawa, Jigawa, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ogun and Kwara have remained the top five performers on vaccine uptake, adding that Jigawa and Lagos have each vaccinated about 1.5 million eligible citizens with the first dose, even as the FCT, Nasarawa, Lagos and Delta are leading on second dose administration with more than 10 per cent of eligible populations in each of the states already vaccinated.
The NPHCDA boss urged state governors to convene a meeting of council chairmen, traditional, political, religious leaders and health teams with a charge of ensuring that the populaces within their constituencies get duly vaccinated.
He implored the governors to encourage the vaccination process through financial gifts by publically rewarding Local Government Area (LGA) teams that perform creditably and sanction those doing badly.
Shuaibu appealed to parents and guardians with children aged zero to 23 months to take them along to vaccination sites so as not defeat the intention of the noble idea.Follow us on social media