…As Government Urge Communities to Mobilise their People for Jab …Restates that AstraZeneca Vaccine is Safe The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says out of 4.4 million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines received in the country, only 1,114,408 million have been utilized, representing 55.4 percent of the targeted eligible group. This is coming as the
…As Government Urge Communities to Mobilise their People for Jab
…Restates that AstraZeneca Vaccine is Safe
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says out of 4.4 million Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines received in the country, only 1,114,408 million have been utilized, representing 55.4 percent of the targeted eligible group. This is coming as the government which plans to vaccinate 70 percent of the Nigerian population between 2021 and 2022, is urging communities to mobilise their people for the vaccine.
The NPHCDA disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday.
The Federal Government has directed the states not to exceed 50 percent utilization of the vaccines allocated to their states. This the government reasons is to allow for a second dose to those who had taken their first doses, adding, the remaining 50 percent would be administered 8-12 weeks from the date of the first doses.
“As of today, April 20, 1,114,408 representing 55.4 percent of the eligible group targeted with the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered their first shots in this vaccination phase.
“The 1,114,408, were eligible Nigerians who have been vaccinated from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” it said.
The agency said that the country took delivery of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, an UN-backed effort that promises access to free vaccines for up to 20 percent of participating countries’ population.
“The delivery is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next months.
“Asides, on March 21, 2021, the country received another 300,000 doses of the same vaccines from telecom giant, MTN.
“On April 6, the government of India also delivered 100,000 doses of COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria,” it explained.
The NPHCDA noted that the COVISHIELD, a brand of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, was used in over 71 countries, including the UK, Canada, India, and Brazil.
Meanwhile, the agency said it had been over a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.
“With public health advances, we are hopeful for the future – including the vaccine.
”As Nigerians, we should do our best by abiding by the recommended protocols. We need to keep each other safe,” it advised.
The agency stated that the release of the vaccines was like the first step back to normal pre-pandemic life.
“But despite our slow crawl back to in-person socialization, we’re nowhere near herd immunity (meaning when enough people in a population have been vaccinated so that person-to-person transmission is unlikely),” it stated.
According to it, “70 percent of our population will need to be vaccinated to halt the spread of the virus.”
It said that not only could vaccines help us reach herd immunity, but they could also prevent new, more dangerous variants from emerging.
”For these reasons, getting the vaccine is a public health imperative,” it explained.
Mr Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has urged community stakeholders to mobilise their people for COVID-19 vaccination.
The SGF stated this at a town hall meeting on COVID-19 Vaccination for North Central Zone held in Lafia on Tuesday.
The meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the NPHCDA.
Mustapha said that community stakeholders had an important role to play in mobilising community members to participate in the COVID-19 vaccination.
According to him, getting vaccinated is the only option available to stop the spread of the virus for now.
“The combination of non pharmaceutical measures and the vaccine is the only way to go for now in stopping transmission of the virus. Vaccination is pivotal to our efforts in containing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
Urging them to help disabuse the minds of their people from the misinformation about the vaccine, Mustapha revealed that vaccination would soon be used as a criteria for assessing different services, such as applying to travel to foreign countries among others.
”So there is the need for Nigerians to come out and get vaccinated so as to stem the transmission.
“Let me tell you this, very soon you cannot travel the world if you are not vaccinated. So it is better for you to take time and get vaccinated as quickly as possible.
”This is the opportunity we have and we must take it and ensure we do not lose out in taming this pandemic,” he said.
He assured that the federal government is committed to providing all necessary resources to ensure Nigerians have unfettered access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“With the existing arrangements with development partners, Nigeria will continue to access the vaccines which will arrive in batches to cater for over 70 per cent of our population .
“It will be between 2021 and 2022 according to the roll out and administration plan,” he said.
Mustapha who acknowledged the dedication of health workers across the country, reiterated federal government’s assurance that the currently used AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and would continued to be administered free of charge.
Also speaking, Nasarawa State Governor, Mr Abdullahi Sule, appreciated the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 for holding the meeting in the state.
Sule said that sensitising the people of the North Central Zone on the importance of taking the COVID-19 vaccine was apt and a proactive measures for the prevention of the spread of the deadly virus.
He said the event would be an impetus to the sensitisation and mobilisation for the people of the state and the North Central zone to accept to take the vaccine.
“This endeavour is necessary considering the negative rumour being peddled on social media to discourage the vaccination,” the Governor said.
He said that a sizeable number of the target group in the state have been vaccinated with the first dose, adding that the administration of the second dose would soon commence.
“In this regard, myself, the Deputy Governor and other members of the State Executive Council, as well as the frontline health workers, traditional rulers, religious and opinion leaders and few other members of the society have been vaccinated.
“In the same vein, both the Christian and Muslim intending pilgrims have gotten their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.
The Governor explained that given the impact of COVID-19 on the health sector, the government resolved to evolve measures that would strengthen the provision of healthcare facilities at primary, secondary and tertiary levels across the state.
“I am happy to state that, part of our commitment in this direction is the completion of the Nasarawa State Infection Disease, Diagnosis and Research Centre.
”The Centre is serving as a Research hub, crucible for innovations and operational research that provokes policy initiation.
“The Centre also conducts clinical trials for vaccines, drugs and other products, in compliance with ethical standards, as well as support trainings in public health and researches at all levels.
“In addition, it provides scientific guidance for the local production of vaccines, diagnostic kits, sera, anti-sera and other related health products,” he said.
Several political office holders including other Governors in the north central zone joined the meeting via the zoom App. Others in attendance at the meeting were health officials, traditional rulers, religious rulers and community stakeholders.