The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, has said that approximately 1.9 per cent of eligible Nigerians are now fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) as at October 4, 2021.
He made this known during the COVID-19 vaccination update press conference today in Abuja.
“As at yesterday, the 4th of October 2021, Nigeria had vaccinated 4,963,985 eligible persons across the country with first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. This figure represents 4.4 per cent of the targeted 111,776,503 eligible population. About 2,166,186 people have received their second doses of the vaccines. This means that approximately 1.9 per cent of eligible population is now fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It is imperative to reiterate the fact that only those who have taken their second dose are fully protected against the deadly COVID-19,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss pointed out that the agency has intensified campaigns for the uptake of the second dose using multiple media strategies, stakeholders and community engagement have yielded appreciable results.
He, however, stressed that more work needed to be collectively done to improve vaccine uptake, stating they will continue to engage with citizens to promote rapid uptake of the vaccines and continue to count on your professional support to see that people are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Shuaib further revealed that Nigeria received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility as donation from the Government of France yesterday, adding they have also got confirmation that 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer vaccines would arrive within the next two weeks.
Giving updates on the phase of the vaccination process, he said 191 serious and 6,555 non-serious AEFI cases were reported and they all were managed in the health facility; individuals have fully recovered and gone back to live normal lives.
“In the coming months, Nigeria will be receiving more doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility. We anticipate that the amount will be much and, therefore, will require efficient and faster ways of utilising them, including expanding access to the vaccines. We have, therefore, started implementing the decentralisation of vaccine utilisation by involving the private sector in the vaccine administration. Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are available at government health facilities only. As we decentralise, private health facilities that meet the set criteria will be allocated COVID-19 vaccines, after due training of their immunization service providers.
“Vaccinations in private health facilities will continue with the help of government health officials. Subsequently, clients will be able to access COVID-19 vaccines at both government and private health care facilities in the country. This will be done at different levels which would include the states and local governments.
“We are taking every caution to ensure that, when implemented, the decentralisation policy is not corrupted. Private health care facilities will be carefully selected based on transparent eligibility criteria and supervision will be maximised to ensure discipline and compliance with safety measures. The goal, as I said, is to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines and to ensure rapid and safe vaccine utilization,” he added.
Commenting on Nigeria’s status on UK Government’s travel advisory released yesterday, he said Nigeria’s status remained unchanged, adding that Nigeria was not among the red-listed countries that needed mandatory quarantine for 14 days in a supervised UK facility.
“The statement released by the UK government is in line with the press statement released last week that Nigerians will continue to isolate upon arrival in the UK, which is similar to our requirement to have travellers from the UK isolate for seven days upon arrival in Nigeria,” he said.
He added that the British government was yet to comprehensively review Nigeria’s vaccination certification programme.
“From my communication with the UK Government officials, the vaccines administered in Nigeria are approved by the UK Government,” he added.