COVID-19 Vaccination: Bayelsa, 4 Others Performing Poorly – NPHCDA 

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AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said that Bayelsa, Rivers, Ondo, Kogi and Ebonyi sit at the bottom of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination ongoing campaign ranking. 

The NPHCDA’s director of planning, research and statistics, Dr. Bulama Garuba made this known during the bi-weekly ministerial press briefing on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the country yesterday (January 23, 2023) in Abuja. 

Garuba said that the five states were the least performing states in the ongoing campaign in the country, while seven states – Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Rivers and Ondo – have recorded less than 20 per cent full vaccination coverage.

The director added that the remaining 16 low-performing states with less than 40 per cent coverage include Katsina, Cross River, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Benue, Edo, Lagos, Taraba, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Kogi, Rivers and Ondo states.

According to him, as of today (January 23, 2023) Jigawa, Nasarawa, Kaduna, Osun and Kano still top the ranking with eligible populations fully vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines. 

He said that the country is currently still implementing the SCALES 3.0 strategy using the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  

Garuba said that the country’s target is to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of the eligible population 18 years and above with the COVID-19 vaccine. 

According to him, as of January 20, 2023, Nigeria has fully vaccinated 65,176,784 (56.2 per cent) eligible persons with the vaccine, while 77,070,988 (66.4 per cent) eligible persons have taken at least one dose of the vaccine. 

He said that a total of 10,390,911 persons have received booster shots. 

“There is a progressive increase in the number f persons receiving booster doses,” Garuba stated. 

He said that the agency is working with other relevant partners to ensure the following priority actions to improve COVID-19 vaccine uptake: “Senior supervisors (government and partners) have been deployed to support 10 low-performing states to boost COVID-19 vaccination coverage and achieve the desired 70 per cent herd immunity.  

“Efforts are ongoing to ensure intensification of the COVID-19 vaccination integrated with routine immunisation and other PHC services with a focus on PHC strengthening,” he added. 

According to him, the NPHCDA, in collaboration with the FMOH and other stakeholders, will continue to support the states/LGAs for social mobilisation activities through engagement and dialogues with religious/political/traditional leaders, TV/radio programmes and jingles, town announcers and mobile operators.

He, however, said that with the lessons learnt from the ongoing resurgence of COVID-19 cases globally, strategies have been developed to improve the number of persons that have received COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in the country. 

Garuba called on all eligible Nigerians in the country that are yet to be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines to visit the nearest health facility or vaccination site to receive the vaccine. 

He also called on all that have been fully vaccinated but have yet to receive their booster doses, to visit the vaccination sites for their booster doses.

Giving an update on reported cases of vaccine-preventable disease and responses, in the country, he said that there were recent reports of outbreaks of meningitis in Jigawa and diphtheria in Kano and Lagos states. 

“For the meningitis outbreak in Jigawa, a team from the agency working with the NCDC team is currently in Jigawa for investigation and technical support/response to the reported meningitis outbreak in the affected LGA(s),” he said. 

The director further said that plans were also on to acquire the ACWY meningitis vaccine for an immediate response (mass vaccination of the population at risk).

Garuba said that for the diphtheria outbreak in Kano and Lagos, case investigation, vaccination in the affected areas and treatment of cases were ongoing.

He said that the agency is providing technical support to Kano and Lagos teams and other stakeholders for an integrated COVID-19 and routine immunisation vaccination to address the ongoing diphtheria outbreak in these states.

“Plan for a mass vaccination campaign in the identified population at risk in the state with pentavalent vaccine and other routine immunisation antigens is also ongoing.

“There is also an ongoing awareness creation and sensitisation of the public to take their eligible children for the ongoing vaccination in the state,” he advised. 

Racheal Abujah
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