The governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the state is currently “far below” the recommended target by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to a statement issued by Gboyega Akosile, chief press secretary to the governor, Sanwo-Olu spoke at the 2021 Global Citizen Live Concert held at Afrika Shrine in Ikeja on Saturday.
As the epicentre of the pandemic, Sanwo-Olu said Lagos had pursued radical vaccination programmes, which led to the administration of 16,000 jabs of vaccines daily.
This, the governor said, is a far cry from what was projected for achieving herd immunity.
“Our vaccination rate is far below the minimum target of 60 per cent recommended by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O) per city population. At the current rate, it would take about three years to achieve our herd immunity target. We cannot continue at this speed if we seriously want to beat this virus,” he said.
“To safely achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, a substantial proportion of our population would need to be vaccinated to lower the overall amount of virus able to spread in the whole population.
“One of the objectives of attaining herd immunity is to prevent mutations from emerging leading to more aggressive strains. It is important that Lagos achieves herd immunity at the same time with all countries together.”
Sanwo-Olu said 405,000 residents had received their first doses of AstraZeneca, while 289,000 persons returned for their second doses.
He said the state administered 230,000 first shots of Moderna to raise the vaccinated population to about 1.2 per cent within five months.
“Our proposal to the private sector is to reserve and administer 50 per cent of the vaccines procured in partnership with the private sector to be made available free of charge at government health centres. We propose to deploy a proven system where those who can pay for vaccines subsidise the cost of vaccination for those who cannot,” he said.
“Given the fact that we expect COVID-19 vaccinations to be annually going forward, this is the only sustainable path towards achieving herd immunity and making Lagos free of the virus.
“With our approach, we expect to vaccinate 30 per cent of the population of Lagos within one year. This will put us on a better and more sustainable path towards herd immunity.”
The governor urged Nigerians to comply with the travel guidelines stipulated by the presidential steering committee to prevent the importation of new variants.