The Federal Government has assured Nigerians that all brands of the COVID-19 vaccine used in Nigeria has been certified by NAFDAC as safe and effective especially against the Delta variant.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib gave the assurance at the flag off of the phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccination in Abuja.
According to him, the flag-off is necessitated by the need to create awareness on what they will be doing differently to ensure a more successful vaccination campaign.
Dr. Shuaib said “although Nigeria is rated as one of the best performing in the vaccination response, we are not satisfied because we know we can be the best”
He said overcoming misinformation and disinformation will not only enable Nigeria overcome vaccine hesitancy but also facilitate recovery from economic downturn imposed by COVID-19 on the country.
He therefore said the Crisis Communication Centre is therefore firmed up to deliver rapid data analysis for intensive public information management on COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
Dr. Shuaib while commending everyone who has taken the vaccine and others who have supported the course of the COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria however encouraged them to speak to their loved ones, friends, and colleagues to get vaccinated.
He said for us to stop this pandemic, we need a critical herd immunity that can only be approached when we reach at least 70% herd immunity.
He said it is the responsibility of all Nigerians to ensure they disseminate the right information to their loved ones and community members and advocate that people should take the vaccines so that we can continue to build our immunity and eventually return to our normal ways of living.
He urge everyone who has taken the vaccine to continue to observe the non-pharmaceutical measures such as wearing of facemask, physical distancing, and hand hygiene as we work together to fight this pandemic.
The NPHCDA Executive Director further disclosed that they have trained 40,739 state level personnel comprising of our health workers and partners on the phase 2 strategic vaccine roll out plan in order to capacitate them for the roll out.
He commended health workers for the professionalism, dedication and resilience they have continued to show by staying on course to deliver the COVID-19 vaccines to eligible persons despite the pressure of disinformation from within and outside the country.
The WHO Country Representative Dr. Walter Mulombo congratulated the Federal government for successfully vaccinating over 2.5 million and 1.4 million persons with first dose and second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine respectively in the Phase1 rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.
He said more encouraging is the fact that the country utilized 98.9% (3,980,600 doses) of first tranche of COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Mulombo said going by the lessons learnt from the Phase 1 of COVID-19 rollout, they have no doubt that the Government of Nigeria will be able to overcome all challenges for a successful Phase 2 rollout.
He said it is being proposed to integrate Primary Health Care (PHC) services with COVID-19 vaccination at the fixed posts (otherwise called “Whole of Family” approach).
He said this intervention if properly implemented, will ensure clients are not denied routine PHC services during COVID-19 vaccination, improving the country’s health indices.
As I always mentioned at different fora, vaccines are a critical tool in the battle against COVID-19.
“These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game- changer: but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance and avoid crowds”
“We would like to remind everyone, that most countries, including Nigeria, are currently experiencing the third waves of COVID-19 outbreaks”
“We call on everyone aged 18 years and above that is yet to take the COVID-19 vaccine, to come out and get vaccinated and by so doing, help to interrupt the community transmission of the disease”
He assured that partners will continue to support the country in reaching its targeted population with Safe and effective vaccines.
Health TV recalls that the United State Government donated 4,000,080 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which was received in the country on August 1st, 2021.
Nigeria also received 177,600 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine which is the first tranche of the almost 40 million doses the Federal Government has procured from the Africa-Export-Import (AFREXIM) Bank through the African Union.
The balance of the vaccine is being expected to be delivered over the coming months.
The 177,600 Johnson and Johnson vaccine which is a one dose effective vaccine will be focused on those who live in the hard-to-reach areas (riverine areas, desert areas, mountainous areas and security-compromised areas) and the elderly According to the Federal Government.
This is because they are people who may find it difficult to leave their homes to the health facility for second dose vaccination.
698,880 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, a donation from the UK Government through the COVAX facility will be received on Tuesday and will be targeted at those that are due for their 2nd dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In the next couple of weeks, Nigeria will be expecting up to 3.9million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to complement what we already have and to ensure that we cover not only those who will be taking their 2nd AstraZeneca vaccine but also for those who will want to take their first dose of this vaccine.