The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says more than three million eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said this at the bi-weekly briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Monday in Abuja.
Newsmen report that this represented the number of Nigerians vaccinated since the country started the vaccination of its citizens against coronavirus in the past eight months.
Shuaib said 5,891,305 eligible Nigerians had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which represented 5.3 per cent of the eligible population.
He added that 3,252,067 Nigerians had received their second dose and were fully vaccinated, representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons.
He explained that the overall population of eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination to enable the country reach herd immunity against the virus was 111,776,503.
The NPHCDA boss said the Federal Government took stock of adequate doses of vaccines to cover a large percentage of the population.
He added that the country had received 3,924,000 doses of AstraZeneca (AZ) in batches between Oct. 22 and Oct. 25, from the COVAX facility.
He noted that the country also received a combination of 1,022,400 doses of AZ as donations from the governments of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy from COVAX last week.
Shuaib said the Federal Government had received commitment of over 11.99 million and 12.2 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines respectively.
“We also have received commitment of 4,953,600 doses of Moderna as donation from U.S. Government through COVAX. These are a few of the doses coming in batches in Dec. and Jan. 2022.
“We would also like to remind us that the Federal Government procured 39,800,000 doses of J&J COVID-19 vaccine through the AVATT and these have been coming in batches,” he said.
He appealed to persons 18 years and above and unvaccinated to simply walk into the nearest vaccination site to take their COVID-19 vaccine.
“It is free, safe, effective and protects you, your family and your community. And if you have taken your first dose, check your vaccination card for your due date and ensure you take the second dose for full protection,” he said.
He stated that the Agency would initiate the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign to reach more Nigerians.
He said the idea of mass vaccination campaign was to quickly increase the number of fully vaccinated eligible population.
This, he hinted, would move the country towards achieving hard immunity and creating an enabling environment for economic recovery and a return to social normalcy in the country.
“The mass vaccination campaigns will require mass mobilisation of Nigerians for increased vaccine uptake.
“This cannot be done successfully without the support of all critical stakeholders including governors, commissioners, the LGA chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, the Civil Society Organisations, the State Ministries of Health, the State Primary Healthcare Boards, all health professionals and our professional media community,” he said.
Shuaib said efforts were ongoing to engage with stakeholders to promote awareness and vaccine confidence.
He said the government aimed to vaccinate at least 50 per cent of the population by the end of Jan. 2022.
“We will be conducting the National flag off of this mass vaccination campaign this Friday Nov. 19 by 10 a.m.,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss said any Nigerian found obtaining the COVID-19 vaccination card illegally (buying or selling) would be made to face the law.
He said the Joint Task Force on COVID-19, which included security agents from the ICPC, DSS and other relevant security agencies remained on alert at every corner of the country and were regularly making impromptu checks.
He noted that it would also be extremely difficult to use fraudulently obtained cards outside the country.
“There is a case of one Mr Amako who attempted to travel outside the country with a vaccination card that could not be validated.
“Upon investigation, the reason for the non-validation was that the expiry date of the 1st and 2nd dose was altered, there were inconsistencies with the vaccine expiration dates and batch number and the QR code scanned belonged to another person.
“This clearly showed that Mr Amako illegally obtained the vaccination card without getting vaccinated. He was denied travel and his case is currently with the law enforcement authorities,” he disclosed.