The Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, says that no person in Nigeria has died of COVID-19 with the SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.529, the Omicron variant, in the country as the variant emerges in all the country.
NCDC Director General Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa revealed this to journalists on Friday in Abuja.
Nigeria's NAN News Agency reports that data from the African Union, AU, shows that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading across the entire African continent.
The AU Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, said as of Thursday that 22 countries have reported the presence of the Omicron variant.
"We can clearly see that Omicron is spreading very quickly," said John Nkengasong of the CDC.
About a month after South Africa first discovered the most infectious variant, it has now been detected in Egypt, Togo, Morocco, Kenya, Mauritius, and Burkina Faso.
Nkengasong said there is reason for optimism, pointing to initial findings from South Africa that Omicron represented up to an 80 percent lower risk of severe disease compared to the Delta variant.
However, he cautioned against applying these early findings to other countries.
Across Africa, there were 253,000 new coronavirus infections last week, a 21% increase from the previous week.
Adetifa noted that Omicron has raised the number of confirmed cases in the country to 500 percent and has now become the dominant variant in the country.
The NCDC chief said the country has now identified another 45 cases of the omicron variant, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 51.
He added that the 45 additional omicron variants were not travel history cases, but are in the country, suggesting that the country is already experiencing community transmission.
He said all six previously detected Omicron cases were found in people with a history of recent travel to South Africa.
Adetifa stressed that it was important for Nigerians to maintain physical distance and avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness.
"We are counting on you to #CelebrateResponsible and #TakeResponsibility to keep you and your loved ones safe from COVID-19," he urged.
He warned Nigerians that additional measures to curb the spread of Omicron included reducing group sizes, increasing physical distancing, reducing the duration of contacts and closing high-risk facilities.
He noted that indoor mixing was the "biggest risk factor" for Omicron's spread, and that large gatherings run the risk of creating "multiple spread events."
Adetifa emphasized that Nigerians should heed the advisory issued by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, adding that it would greatly reduce the effectiveness of such interventions and make it less likely that they will avoid considerable pressure on healthcare settings and attention.
Meanwhile, the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care, NPHCDA, insists that the national boost campaign remains the main tool in the country's arsenal to curb the spread of Omicron.
The agency suggested that all COVID-19 vaccines in the country offer "significant protection" against the Omicron variant, and that two doses should still prevent severe disease.
It comes as the EU drug watchdog said there were initial indications that the Omicron variant may cause milder disease than previous strains.
The suggestion from the European Medicines Agency, EMA, echoed similar findings from the World Health Organization (WHO), which said earlier this week that there was some evidence that Omicron causes less serious disease than the strain. Dominant delta.
"The cases appear to be mostly mild, however, we need to gather more evidence to determine if the spectrum of severity of disease caused by Omicron is different from that of all the variants that have been circulating so far," said Marco Cavaleri, director. from EMA Biological Health Threats and Vaccine Strategy.
President Muhammadu Buhari received his third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in the Presidential Village on Tuesday in Abuja.
The president had received his first injection of the vaccine on March 6 and the second on May 29, 2021.
NAN reports that the third vaccine was administered to the president on Tuesday by his personal physician, Dr. Suhayb Rafindadi.
Speaking to House correspondents after the president took the jab, the Executive Secretary of the Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that the president had again demonstrated his leadership by taking the reinforcement jab.
Mr. Shuaib assured citizens that “the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and is available to those who wish to benefit from it for their own safety.
“The significance of this morning's shooting is that the father of the nation is leading by example. As usual, he is among the first people to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine.
“Once again, to clearly show all Nigerians that it is safe, that it is effective and that they know that more than eight million Nigerians have been vaccinated, here is another proof that this vaccine is safe and a wake-up call to Nigerians to make them available. to get the vaccine. "
Shuaib asked all those who refuse to take the vaccine to put aside all conspiracy theories, as the vaccine is not harmful to humans.
He added that “the evidence is there; more than eight million Nigerians have been safely vaccinated. They are fine, they are doing their usual business.
“What the President has done today is again to indicate to all Nigerians that the federal government is doing everything possible to ensure that only safe and effective vaccines are brought to Nigeria, and that when they are brought to Nigeria, we will double check to make sure it conforms to the highest standards.
“So when you go to any health center, when you go to any mass vaccination center, one thing that you should be clear in your mind is that this vaccine that enters your body is safe and will protect you against serious forms of COVID-19. .
"That is the security we are giving Nigerians."
According to him, the vaccine comes with mild signs that confirm that the vaccine is working well, as it activates the immune system of everyone who takes it.
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 has authorized a pandemic vaccine booster for eligible Nigerians.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), told the Nigerian News Agency on Friday in Abuja that the decision was made in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and the agency.
Shauib said the decision made was to administer booster doses for those who had completed either two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer Bio-N-Tech or one dose of Johnson and Johnson.
The NPHCDA scribe said that the eligibility criteria for taking the booster dose include: anyone 18 years of age or older, time interval of six months or more after receiving the second dose of AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Pfizer Bio-N- Tech.
“Time interval of two months or more after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“As a consequence of the above, eligible Nigerians are recommended to visit the nearest health center or mass vaccination sites to receive their booster doses from December 10, 2021 in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, ”he said.
According to him, a booster dose of COVID-19 provides increased protection against the virus.
He urged all Nigerians to seize the opportunity offered by the Nigerian Government.
“The list of vaccination sites is available on the NPHCDA website: www.nphcda.gov.ng
"For more information, please contact the NPHCDA COVID-19 call center at 07002201122 for assistance," advised Shauib.
Hundreds of officials lined up Wednesday to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to meet with the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, deadline.
Security agents from the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, assured on Wednesday that public officials without proof of vaccination or negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test could not access their offices.
It was also observed that some officials queue up at the vaccination centers of the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care, NPHCDA, in front of the Federal Ministries of Health and Education to get vaccinated.
Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 had announced in October that public officials without COVID-19 vaccination certificates would be barred from their offices as of December 1, 2021.
However, Mr. Mustapha added that public officials who refuse vaccination will have no choice but to submit negative PCR tests every 72 hours.
In the Federal Secretariat, on the morning of this Wednesday, it was observed that security operations took over the main accesses and access was only allowed to workers who presented vaccination certificates and negative COVID-19 PCR tests.
Meanwhile, some officials who spoke to NAN expressed satisfaction with the exercise and described it as a positive development.
Chizoba Iwu, an official, brought a son and a daughter to get vaccinated at the Secretariat's vaccination site, one of the three locations, noting that she does not want any of them to contract COVID-19 or transmit it to anyone. plus.
"We have done our research and it is safe," Ms. Iwu said.
Ms. Iwu said she had asthma, which added to her concern, and the entire family was eager to get back to the active and busy lives they had before the pandemic.
"We want to travel for this Christmas and we miss our grandparents and having the vaccine will help us see them," he said.
Adamu Yusuf, also a civil servant, brought his daughter, his wife and his in-laws for injections.
and said that what won't kill them will make them stronger.
According to him, the way the world is going, we better have our vaccine than not, regardless of whether they think it is effective or not.
Yemisi Makinde, a businesswoman as she described herself, registered her mother and brother to receive their first opportunity.
“My little sister and I were fully vaccinated in June. As soon as we were eligible to get it, we did it, ”he said.
"We did it out of concern for our mother, since our father no longer exists, we have to keep her safe," he noted.
Recall that the Nigerian Center for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed on Wednesday morning the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.
The emergence of the new variants, the world's desperate and probably futile attempts to keep it at bay are reminders of what scientists have warned for months.
The coronavirus will thrive as long as vast parts of the world lack vaccines.
Some health experts said that the hoarding of limited COVID-19 vaccines by rich countries creating virtual vaccine deserts in many poorer countries not only poses a risk to parts of the world experiencing shortages; Threaten everyone.
This is because the more the disease spreads among unvaccinated populations, the more likely it is to mutate and potentially become more dangerous, prolonging the pandemic for everyone.
Meanwhile, the PSC president noted that there are enough vaccines in the country for everyone at the moment, while urging Nigerians to seize the opportunity to get vaccinated.
The National Economic Council (NEC) says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a fresh N656 billion Bridge Ficing Facility to the 36 States.
Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Fice, Budget and National Planning, disclosed this on Thursday at a virtual NEC meeting presided over Yemi Osinbajo and anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said that the support was to help state governments to meet their ficial obligations, especially the previous budget support facility due for repayment.
According to Ahmed, each state will receive N18.2 billion.
Ahmed said that the bridge facility was being processed Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“The approved bridge facility of N656.112 billion will be disbursed in six tranches over a period of six months to the states.
“Expectedly, each of the 36 States will have a total loan amount of N18.225 billion; with a 30-year tenor, and a 2-year moratorium at an interest rate of nine per cent.
“The facility is to help the states afford the repayment of previous bailout facilities guaranteed for them Government,’’ she said.
On July 15, the council had received updates on the budget support facility to states.
At that meeting, Ahmed informed NEC that the deductions for repayment of previous bailout facilities would commence soon.
Subsequently, the states sought further support leading to the idea of bridge ficing.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, has briefed the council on the status of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
Shuaib said that Nigeria had received over 100 million doses of COVID–19 vaccines from COVAX, AU and some countries, which was sufficient to ramp up vaccination for about 50 per cent of the targeted population.
“The total eligible population of Nigerians for the vaccine is over 111 million.
“Given the availability of vaccines, we have started rolling out a plan to vaccinate 50 percent of Nigerians, 18 years and above by Jan. 31, 2022,’’ he said.
The NPHCDA boss added that there would be a scaling up of over 3,000 health facilities nationwide.
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), also made a presentation to the council.
He said Nigerians must continue to maintain and sustain the COVID-19 response, especially as it entered the holiday period where there would be travels within and outside the country and mass events to herald the holiday season.
“The country should maintain visibility of the outbreak by testing, continuing to encourage adherence to public health and social measures, encourage vaccination and address vaccine hesitancy,” he said.
He added that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 was still the domit strain of concern in the country.
The National Economic Council, NEC, said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a new naira 656 billion bridging funding mechanism for the 36 states.
Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, revealed this Thursday during a virtual NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said the aid was aimed at helping state governments meet their financial obligations, especially the previous budget support facility due to be repaid.
According to Ahmed, each state will receive 18.2 billion naira.
Ms Ahmed said the bridge facility was being processed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
“The approved naira 656.112 billion bridging facility will be disbursed in six installments over a six-month period to the states.
“Each of the 36 states is expected to have a total loan amount of N18.225 billion; with a term of 30 years and a 2-year moratorium at an interest rate of nine percent.
“The facility is to help states afford repayment of previous rescue facilities guaranteed to them by the federal government,” she said.
On July 15, the board received updates on the State Budget Support Facility.
At this meeting, Ms. Ahmed informed NEC that deductions for reimbursement of previous rescue facilities would begin soon.
Subsequently, states sought additional support leading to the idea of bridging funding.
Meanwhile, the executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, briefed the council on the status of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the country.
Mr Shuaib said Nigeria received more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, AU and some countries, which was enough to scale up vaccination to around 50% of the population. targeted.
“The total eligible population of Nigerians for the vaccine is over 111 million.
“Given the availability of vaccines, we have started rolling out a plan to immunize 50 percent of Nigerians aged 18 and over by January 31, 2022,” he said.
The boss of the NPHCDA added that there would be an expansion of more than 3,000 health facilities nationwide.
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Managing Director of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, NCDC, also made a presentation to the board.
He said Nigerians must continue to maintain and support the COVID-19 response, especially as it has entered the holiday period where there will be travel within and outside the country. and mass events to herald the holiday season.
"The country should maintain the visibility of the epidemic by carrying out tests, continuing to encourage compliance with public health and social measures, to encourage vaccination and to fight against vaccine hesitation," a- he declared.
He added that the Delta variant of COVID-19 was still the dominant strain of concern in the country.
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.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports 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 of Jan. 2022.
“We will be conducting the National flag off of this mass vaccination campaign this Friday Nov. 19 .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.
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC ) on COVID-19 said some citizens were still procuring vaccination cards through the black market.
Speaking at the national briefing of the PSC on Monday in Abuja, the Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said, “We have received intelligence and even detected that some unscrupulous citizens are procuring vaccination cards through the black market.
“Let me assure everyone that the vaccination records/certificates will be verified and this should serve as a warning to those criminally minded persons to desist because they will be prosecuted accordingly.”
Mustapha said the Dec. 1 deadline for vaccination was in the best interest of Nigeria.
“We are gearing up to further engage with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to push through the mass vaccination programme and mandate for our citizens,” said Mustapha.
The PSC Chairman also expressed concern over the rising cases of COVID-19 in some parts of the world and called for caution in the country.
The SGF said: “the situation is still challenging, hence, the need to continue to strictly adhere to the non-pharmaceutical intervention measures.
“We are currently seeing surges in cases in some countries in Europe (especially eastern Europe) due to under vaccination.
“In other territories where massive vaccinations have occurred, the infections are rising.
“What we see in Nigeria right now is that there is an increase in case fatality ratio, which calls for great concern.”
On travel protocol, he said travelers leaving the country were encouraged to be conversant with the travel protocols of all countries (origin, transit and destination).
“This has become necessary because of comments and reports in the media that some citizens are denied boarding due to lack of pre-departure protocol compliance.
“Others returning home also complained about requirements to be met. The protocols are clear and simple and they should be observed accordingly.
“The National International Travel Protocol portal has been upgraded to meet existing protocol and the demands of our travelling public.
“The portal is now live and running smoothly. The Technical Head of the PSC Secretariat will throw more light on this.”
Mustapha added that the vaccination phase was being accelerated and the NPHCDA had concluded arrangements to roll-out a mass vaccination plan with effect from Nov. 20.
“The PSC wishes to assure Nigerians that the NPHCDA has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50 per cent of the target population of January, 2022.
“Efforts are also on-going to bring on board the booster dose so as to build a health level of anti-bodies,” he added.
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), has vaccinated 5,770,899 eligible persons with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination while 3,146,885 have taken the second dose (fully vaccinated).
The Director, Planning Research and Statistics, NPHCDA, Dr. Abdullahi Bulama Garba, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, at the Ministerial Press Briefing update on COVID-19 Response and Development in the Health Sector.
Garuba added that these figures were achieved as at November 7th, 2021, in the 36 States and the FCT.
He noted that there were over eight million doses of vaccines in the country at the moment, but the country was still expecting more doses.
He noted that to achieve herd immunity against the infection, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent of 2022.
“To achieve this, the vaccine roll-out was scheduled to be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, amongst others.
“The second phase has commenced and it’s capturing older adults, aged 50 years and above, and those aged between 18 and 49 years of age,” he explained.
Mrs Elsie Ilori, Director of Disease Surveillance Department, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while giving an update on the Nigeria’s COVID-19 situation, said that while progress had been made in response to the ongoing pandemic with the fact-paced development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccines globally, variants of concern with increased transmissibility pose a threat.
Ilori said that the pandemic continues to play out differently across countries worldwide. Notably, Africa had seen fewer severe cases and deaths but despite limitations of testing has experienced similar transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its population.
According to her, “Regardless of the differing patterns of disease and deaths seen, the risk of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants capable of evading human immune responses is a global concern.
She added that Delta variant remains the domit variant globally. Adding that, alongside existing safety measures, widespread vaccination was providing a means for the world to exit this pandemic.
“While some countries are achieving set goals for population vaccination (South Korea), including using vaccine mandates, others are easing back on restrictions (Melbourne) and some are contemplating preserving existing restrictions for only the unvaccinated (Austria).
“Many countries in the global north have introduced vaccine booster doses, and have approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 years,” she added.
The director noted as much as it seems like Nigerians have moved on from COVID-19, it was still in existence, and people are still becoming infected and sadly, dying.
She noted that despite the differences in the disease pattern across countries, Nigerians have the same patterns of risk for the elderly, those with other diseases e.g., hypertension and diabetes, the immunosuppressed, etc as seen elsewhere.
“It remains essential to ensure hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, facemask wearing and receiving the full dose of COVID-19 vaccine available.
“We have continued to respond to the pandemic and navigate these terrains on how to continue to live with COVID-19. A return to normalcy will be ensured by, “High levels of testing to ensure complete surveillance including tracking of variants of interest and concern and high levels of vaccination,” she explained.
Ilori said that testing remains core to the response, with the roll out of rapid diagnostic testing continuing across the country.
“Community health workers are being trained on active contact tracing in states and focus is being placed on contacting silent states which do not submit reports on cases, deaths and more.
“With regards to infection, prevention, and control (IPC), health facilities are on the receiving end of training sessions on IPC,” she explained.
According to her, The Emergency Operations Centre remains active, weekly coordinating the response in the Incident Coordination Centre with all pillars represented and partners contributing also travel restrictions.
“On Oct. 25, revised travel restrictions were released and took effect. Key changes to the protocols include the removal of travelers from Brazil, Turkey, and South Africa from the list of restricted countries.
“In addition, key highlights are that: a negative COVID-19 PCR test results should not be conducted more than 72 hours before boarding flights for travel.
“There is no longer self-isolation as a requirement for fully vaccinated inbound passengers, however, there must be a COVID-19 PCR test done on Day 2 of arrival.
“Sedven-day self-isolation is mandatory for unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated individuals in addition to COVID-19 PCR tests on days 2 and 7 after arrival.
“Additionally, people arriving on official/business trips seven days must be fully vaccinated, test negative 72 hours before boarding and conduct a PCR test within day 2 of arrival,” she explained.
She added that the ravel portal was undergoing revisions to improve it and it was hoped that the challenges of the past would become history on completion of the process.
Meanwhile, The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, called on Nigerians to take action to protect the vulnerable safety measures and ensuring they are vaccinated if they are eligible.
“It is strongly recommended you get vaccinated against COVID-19 to stop the spread of the virus. When you get vaccinated, you protect yourself, your family, friends, and community against the disease,” Ehanire urged.
The minister noted that all the brands of vaccines used in the country were safe and able to deliver protection against COVID-19 for any eligible person who was vaccinated.
By Abujah Racheal
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), says 1,692,315 eligible Nigerian have received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at the briefing of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 on Monday, in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this progress was recorded in the six months since the country commenced the COVID-19 vaccination of its citizens.
“1,692,315 persons have received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, as approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“As at Monday evening, 4,052,756 eligible Nigerians have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
“This is made up of 2,645,020 persons with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,407,736 persons with first dose of the Moderna vaccine,” Shuaib said.
According to him, ” a total of 1,692,315 eligible persons are fully vaccinated and we currently have a national average of 70.4 per cent utilisation of the 2,000,040 doses of the Moderna vaccines we received.”
Shuaib said that the 36 states and the Federal Capital had been guided not to exceed their 50 per cent utilization rates for the Moderna vaccines in order, to reserve the second doses for all those already vaccinated.
He noted that most states had reached the percentage and priority was now being focused on administering AstraZeneca vaccine as first dose vaccine in all states of the federation.
Shuaib urged states yet to publish their vaccination sites to do so across the various media platforms – Newspapers, radio, TV, and social media, to enable people locate their nearest vaccination site.
“The list of vaccination sites across the country is also available on the NPHCDA website: www.nphcda.gov.ng and eligible persons who are unable to register by themselves can go to any designated health facility where he/she will be assisted by our vaccination teams,” he said.
Shuaib noted that state governments were responsible for the protection of the vaccines and vaccination cards sent to them, warning that vaccines would no longer be allocated to states found condoning any acts of corruption in the process of vaccination.
“We have received reports of people trying to procure cards from health workers, these reports are being investigated and anyone found wanting would be prosecuted.
“It is important to emphasize that it is in the interest of public safety and collective well-being of Nigerians that the Federal Government has made available these vaccines free for all eligible persons,” Shuaib stated.
He reiterated that government would continue to work with stakeholders and partners, to ensure delivery of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
recalled that Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination on 5 March, 2021, having received approximately four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, an initiative aimed at ensuring equitable distribution of vaccines globally.
The country recently launched the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccinations, after receiving another four million doses of Moderna vaccines from the U.S government.
The country also received another 177,600 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines from the African Union (AU).
On Aug. 17, Nigeria similarly took delivery of another 699,760 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK government.
Before the commencement of COVID-19 vaccination, the government had set an ambitious target of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.