It also urged Nigerians to get COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves and the country.
The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, made the commendation on Thursday in Abuja, at the Sensitisation of Non-Health Stakeholders and Non-Professionals on the Importance of Immunisation and other Primary Health Care (PHC), Services.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), to commemorate the 2022 African Vaccination Week (AVW).
Wabba, who stated the feat achieved in routine immunisation in the country, said it had reduced the prevalence of the virus.
He, therefore, called on all health workers and the leadership of NPHCDA not to leave any Nigerian behind in their efforts to eradicate the vaccine-preventable disease.
Wabba said, ”COVID-19 was not given chance to spread widely in the country, with their tireless efforts to ensure that Nigerians were protected from the scourge of the pandemic.
He also called on Nigerians to make themselves and their loved ones available for immunisation against all vaccine-preventable diseases.
Wabba said that the collaboration of relevant stakeholders with the government would go a long way in strengthening the health system in the country.
In his opening remarks, the Director for Disease Control and Immunisation, NPHCDA, Dr Bassey Okposen, urged mothers to present their children for immunisation against preventable diseases and other health issues affecting children.
Okposen, who assured safety and efficacy of immunisation, said that the agency was poised to serve Nigerians on vaccine preventable diseases.
While debunking the myths of COVID-19 vaccines, he disclosed that about 63 million doses of the vaccines had been administered in the country.
He added that there was no record of death or any adverse illness such as madness as speculated by rumour mongers.
“If anyone asks you to pay for the vaccine, report to the authorities because it is free.
COVID-19 is not finished in Nigeria.
“It still kills as over 3000 people had died in the country from the virus.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had also recorded a spike in cases in the past four weeks; almost a whopping 400,000 cases weekly,” he disclosed.
He also reminded Nigerians that the RotaVirus vaccine was introduced and mothers should avail their children of immunisation across all PHCs in the country and it was free.
Okposen, who said the vaccine would prevent diarrhea, added that mothers and wards could take their children at six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks.
A representative of UNICEF, Nigeria, Ms Carina Henriette Prakke, said that the first vaccine was made in 1979 for smallpox and it was not until 200 years later that smallpox was completely eradicated.
Prakke said that the first polio vaccine was discovered in 1952, but ”was eradicated in Nigeria 70 years later and this was achieved because Nigerians collaborated.
She added that while the vaccine was good, it was not 100 per cent as the malaria vaccine provided a 50 per cent shield from the illness.
Prakke encouraged Nigerians to ask questions, find confidence in the vaccine and ensure that children were safe and prevented from diseases.
Mrs Chika Offor, the founder of the Vaccine Network for Disease Control (VNDC), said her organisation would continue to promote awareness and the benefits of vaccination services that saved lives and prevent disabilities.
Offor said vaccines for both old and young were available.
She said that there were Vaccine Schedules at all PHCs across the country and the nation could attain better immunisation coverage, ”if only Nigerians made themselves available.
NAN reports that every year, World Health Organisation (WHO), marks AVW, in conjunction with World Immunisation Week.
The week provides the opportunity to showcase the importance of vaccines and how they provide protection for both young and old, against more than 25 vaccine-preventable diseases.
This year’s theme is: “Long Life for All”, highlights the life-saving potential of vaccines for everyone, everywhere.
Yet, in Africa, tens of millions of people were still missing out on some, or all, their scheduled immunisations against diseases that had long been eradicated by vaccines.
More than a year into the COVID-19 global vaccine rollout, Africa was benefiting from the speedy, efficient development of vaccines to curb the virus.
There are currently 10 COVID-19 vaccines available through the COVAX Facility, with more in the research and development pipeline.
Over 480 million COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Africa to date, making it the biggest vaccine rollout in the history of the continent.
Only 18.7 per cent of the African population was fully vaccinated, lagging behind the global average of 58 per cent.