The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, has said more efforts are required for Nigeria to reach its target of vaccinating at least 70 per cent of its eligible population against the deadly coronavirus.
Mr Shuaib, while speaking at a briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, on Monday, said 4.2 per cent of the 111,776,503 eligible Nigerians have been vaccinated so far.
He said asides from the availability of various approved COVID-19 vaccines, efforts from individuals will also go a long way to push for more vaccinations.
“It is important to point out that a lot more work needs to be done for our country to reach its target goal of vaccinating at least 70 per cent of the eligible population of 111,776,503, not only in terms of provision of vaccines but more importantly, in terms of mobilizing our friends, families, and communities to get vaccinated,” he said.
About 70 per cent of Nigeria’s total population needs to receive the COVID-19 vaccines to completely eradicate the virus, Mr Shuaib had said at the onset of the pandemic.
Mr Shuaib said the latest data shows that 4,734,769 eligible people in Nigeria have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
This, he said, comprises 3,040,000 who have received the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines and 1,694,769 with the first dose of Moderna vaccines.
“This represents 4.2 per cent of the 111,776,503 eligible populations who are targeted to receive full doses of the vaccines for Nigeria to reach herd immunity.
“Out of the total vaccinated, 1,892,092 eligible persons have received their second dose of which 1,825,739 have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca while 66,353 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated with Moderna,” Mr Shuaib said.
Mr Shuaib also reiterated that vaccination is the best way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Europe, America, Asia, and Oceania, it is through this vaccination that COVID-19 is being controlled, and the vaccines being used are the same all over the world.
“Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind. We must understand the urgency of the need to control COVID-19 if we want to fully recover from its social and economic impacts,” he said.
At the briefing, the chairman of the PSC, Boss Mustapha announced that the country is expecting more vaccines to reach more of its eligible population.
Mr Mustapha said Nigeria will be receiving over 1m doses of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) shipments every month.
“Over 3.5m doses of Pfizer is being expected from the US Government this month while about 4m doses of Astrazeneca is being expected early next month,” he said.
He said the PSC is committed to access enough vaccines for the 70 per cent eligible persons in the country in record time.
The chairman also said global cases have been on a decline for some time now, but there’s a need for more caution, especially among Nigerians.
He said caution is needed rather than over-confidence.