By Anthony Isibor.
FAISAL Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has said that a total of 4,052,756 eligible persons have so far received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
He made this known during a media briefing of the presidential steering committee on covid-19, held in Abuja on Monday, September 13, 2021, and that this number is made up of 2,645,020 persons with the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,407,736 eligible persons with first dose of Moderna vaccine.
In addition, “A total of 1,692,315 eligible persons are fully vaccinated and we currently have a national average of 70.4% utilization of the 2,000,040 doses of Moderna vaccines we received.
Shuaib says that the agency does not promote preference of one vaccine brand over the other, and strongly discourages the mixing of vaccine brand for first and second doses. While explaining that, Astrazeneca administration have been re-opened as first dose to eligible persons (18 years and above), who have not been vaccinated and urged those that have taken the first dose to go ahead to the nearest designated health facilities for their second doses, adding that all COVID-19 vaccines are safe and capable of protecting people against the disease.
“With the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 globally, we are beginning to see countries instituting vaccine mandates. Some countries have begun asking workers to either present a proof of vaccination or provide weekly COVID-19 PCR negative results in order to be allowed into public offices.
“In order to end this pandemic, we must achieve enough level of population immunity, that the virus essentially becomes a nuisance and no longer a threat. The only way to achieve this is if eligible persons come out for vaccination and observe the non-pharmaceutical interventions. The COVID-19 vaccines remain the most effective tool against this virus.
“Considering the rapid progress seen in the utilization of Moderna vaccines, states have been guided not to exceed their 50% utilization rates for Moderna in order to reserve the 2nd doses for all those already vaccinated. Most states have reached this percentage and priority is now focused on administering AstraZeneca vaccine as first dose vaccine in all states.
“We encourage states that are 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. 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 team,” he said.
“States have the responsibility to protect the vaccines and vaccination cards sent to them. They are to ensure that these vaccines are administered in a safe and effective manner and are made free for all. They need to hold their health workers accountable and sanction any of their health official that is found carrying out activities contrary to the mandates set by the Federal Government.
“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,” he added.
He also said that a recent study by the United States Centre for Disease Control, USCDC, which examined 600,000 COVID-19 cases revealed that people who were unvaccinated were about four and a half times more likely to contract COVID-19.
The study further showed that those who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 were eleven times more likely to die of the disease and ten times more likely to be hospitalized with the disease.
“We should also be mindful of the long-term effects of COVID-19 infection, which is characterized by blood clotting disorders, lung and kidney problems,” he said.
Shuaib also added that they have received reports of people trying to procure cards from health workers, and warned that any state found to be condoning these acts of corruption will no longer be allocated vaccines.,
“At this juncture, let me remind us that the Federal Government does not condone attempt by anyone to produce/procure and sell fake COVID-19 vaccination cards. Anyone who ventures into this would be apprehended and made to face the law.
“This is a criminal offence, in which both the buyer and seller would be prosecuted. We therefore urge all Nigerians to report any suspected attempt by any person or group of persons to sell or buy COVID-19 vaccination card to us via our call centre line on 0700 220 1122, any of our social media handles (Facebook and Instagram), at the nearest police station or any other law enforcement agency.
“Let me also further reiterate that the corporate vaccination for Ministries, Departments, Agencies, public and private corporate organizations are to be provided free of charge. States and LGAs should please note that no fees/levies should be mandated from the cooperate bodies when teams are sent to provide these services
“No one needs to cut corners on COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccines are free, and the vaccination cards are given free of charge at any of our designated health facility after your vaccination,” he said.
He added that the government will continue to work with stakeholders and partners to ensure delivery of safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria and called on everyone to take responsibility to protect themselves, their families and communities against COVID-19 by going out to receive the vaccines and continuing to observe all measures to prevent further spread of the virus in the country.
– Sept. 15, 2021 @ 13:54 GMT |