Bisi Olaniyi, Southsouth Bureau Chief
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on Saturday revealed that as at September 24 this year, only 4,680,000 Nigerians had so far been vaccinated, in the population of over 200 million people.
He made the disclosure during the Southsouth zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination, which was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA, which took place at the Government House, Benin, Edo State.
Shuaib disclosed that of the 4,680,000 vaccinated Nigerians, 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He expressed displeasure that the figures were below Nigeria’s target of reaching herd immunity, and that it could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
NPHCDA’s executive director said: “I would like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our communities to visit the nearest designated health facilities to receive COVID-19 vaccines.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country, and they are safe and effective.
“In the course of the next few weeks, we plan to gradually involve the private sector, as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.”
Shuaib also revealed that the Federal Government had set up a joint task force on COVID-19 vaccination, in collaboration with the security agencies, for monitoring and accountability.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, earlier in his remarks, stated that the town hall meeting was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure residents were safe and protected against the deadly Coronavirus Disease.
He disclosed that Nigeria had so far lost two thousand residents to COVID-19, while the virus also crashed the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Ehanire noted that the Federal Government needed to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population, in order to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
He said: “The way out of this is to get vaccinated, because the people who have taken the COVID-19 vaccines have full protection, while the unvaccinated persons are exposed to danger.
“The Federal Government is working with the private sector for the production of COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria.”
Health minister also revealed that over 90 percent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 were from unvaccinated people.
Edo Governor, Godwin Obaseki, while also speaking, disclosed that the Southsouth state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the ravaging COVID-19.
Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyoha, stated that Edo’s target was to vaccinate 60 per cent of the state’s population.