COVID-19: Over 14m Nigerians have Recieved 1st Dose Vaccine, Says FG

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* Daily vaccination now 200,000

Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The federal government has said that 14,093,873 Nigerians have so far received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

It also said that 5,252,406 eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated, while 416,980 Nigerians have received their booster dose and in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Speaking to journalists in Abuja at the first media briefing on the progress made in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Executive Director of the National Primary HealthCare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the speed of vaccination has increased from 100,000 per day in December 2021 to 200,000 in January 2022.

He said that the sensitization campaign on COVID-19 vaccination is yielding results in various centres across the country.

“Our record as of today, Tuesday, January 25, 2022 shows that 14,093,873 eligible persons have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, while 5,252,406 eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated.

“However, as one would expect, these results are not evenly distributed across the states of the federation. Our deep dive into state performances reveals that Nasarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Ogun and Kwara have remained the top five performing states on COVID-19 vaccine uptake,” he said.

Shuaib said that Jigawa and Lagos have each vaccinated about 1.5 million eligible Nigerians with the first dose, while FCT, Nasarawa, Lagos and Delta are leading on second dose administration with more than 10% of eligible populations in each of the states already vaccinated.

He further spoke on the spread of COVID-19 variants, saying that the reason for their emergence was due to the large proportion of the eligible population who have not yet been vaccinated.

He said that the low vaccination rate in many parts of the world had given the virus time to mutate and fight back.

Shuaib used the opportunity to notify the public that the current phase of COVID-19 mass vaccination will integrate the campaign with childhood immunization and other public healthcare services (PHC).

“What this simply means is that alongside the COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines will also be available at COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“Consequently, parents or guardians with children aged zero to 23 months are urged to take them along to the vaccination sites.

“The childhood vaccines protect against polio, whooping cough, measles, yellow fever, tetanus, tuberculosis and other childhood preventable diseases. This is to ensure that while we are trying so hard to control the transmission of COVID-19, we do not neglect other PHC services or even have outbreaks of childhood vaccine preventable diseases on our hands,” he said.