The federal government has disclosed that a total of 1,929,237 Nigerians representing 96 percent have so far been administered the first COVID-19 vaccine doses.
The government also said steps had been taken to protect Nigerians against B.1.617.2, known as the Indian variant.
It declared that it has “almost completed administering all first doses included in this campaign, as of 24th May”, adding:”
Those individuals currently eligible for second doses will have received their first dose 6 to 12 weeks ago.”
According to the government,” we have begun providing second doses, and that number has reached 4,683.”
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this Tuesday, at a press conference held in Abuja, to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
“We have now provided 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.
The Federal Government is taking significant precautions to protect Nigerians against B.1.617.2, known as the Indian variant,” he said.
To this end, he said: “Flights from India and other high-risk countries such as Turkey and Brazil have been barred from entering Nigeria, we are ramping up our test and trace measures, and we are accelerating the national project to establish production of oxygen supplies across all states of Nigeria.”
He enjoined “Nigerians to continue to observe the Public Health or non-pharmaceutical measures in place to curb the transmission of Covid-19, as we are not out of the woods yet.”
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation and update citizens.
Now, we will turn it over to questions,” he said.
“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,” the NPHCDA’s boss advised.
Shuaib said the government’s “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,” added.
He attributed the success achieved with the first dose to the collective efforts of all stakeholders.
“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,” he said.
Noting that “the global community is facing great challenges regarding vaccine supply”, he said:” Like most nations, this impacts the clarity over Nigeria’s next shipment.”
He spoke further: “While we have information that we may get the next consignment of vaccines by 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 provided an update on the rescheduled dates for the PSC’s zonal town hall meetings across the remaining zones thus:”North-East is scheduled for 8th of June in Yola, Adamawa State; South-South Zonal Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 15th of June 2021 in Benin, Edo State; The South-West Zonal Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 22nd June 2021 in Lagos, Lagos State; The North-West Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 29th of June 2021 in Kano, Kano State; The last Town Hall meeting in the South East is scheduled for Owerri, Imo State on 6th of July 2021.”