The Federal Government has launched the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination on 16 August 2021 in Abuja; A continuous effort towards curbing the spread of the disease in the country.
At a symbolic event to flag- off the second phase at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abuja, the Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha said the arrival of Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson and Jonson) vaccines will enhance the government’s effort to get more Nigerians vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the disease.
“Achieving herd immunity is a collective responsibility of everyone and so we need to advice everyone to receive the vaccine. We have the responsibility to safeguard the health of the people and the government will ensure the availability of vaccines. The vaccines are safe and efficacious, he said.” Nigeria had received over 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the United States (US) government through the COVAX facility and 117, 600 doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine through the African Union and Afrexim Bank as initial supplies.
The country expects additional 42.5m doses of different vaccine products from the COVAX facility, African Union, and donations from the US Government, United Kingdom (UK) Government, and other countries to be used for the second phase vaccination with different colds chain requirements. This would be adequate for 35,835,970 persons (an additional 32.9% 0f the eligible population) in line with the National Deployment Vaccination Plan.
In his remarks at the launch on behalf of partners, the WHO Country Representative (WR), Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo mentioned that “The introduction of these vaccines comes with a huge logistical preparation for the storage of Moderna vaccine. Partners are very happy with the Federal Government’s huge investment in the procurement and the installation of Ultra Cold Chain equipment at the National Strategic Cold Store and the state Cold Stores.
This is good sign of a committed government leadership at national and state level to have it citizens vaccinated against the disease
This is a good sign of committed government leadership at national and state level to have its citizens vaccinated against the disease.”
The WR stressed that while, “These vaccines are safe and effective and will be the game-changer: but for the foreseeable future, we must continue wearing masks, physically distance, and avoid crowds.”
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire launched the National CoVID-19 Field guide to provide direction for adequate planning, equitable distribution, demand generation, and judicious utilization of the vaccines across the different States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) specifically as the country plans to adopt the family-centered integrated Primary Health Care (PHC) approach; which translates the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA’s) strategy of improving access to basic health services
In separate remarks, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Directors General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) commended health workers for the professionalism, dedication and resilience they have continued to show by staying on course to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to eligible persons.
Other dignitaries that witnessed the event included, leadership and members of the National Assembly, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, the African Export-Import Bank, representatives of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Rotary International among others.
Recall that on 02 March 2021 Nigeria received 3.92 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, through the COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF, and WHO. The arrival marked a historic step towards the goal of ensuring equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally, in what will be the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history.
For the first phase of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out which mainly targeted frontline workers, 98.9% (3,980,600 doses) of the first tranche of Astra Zeneca vaccines was used in the first phase with over 2.5 million persons having received 1st dose of the vaccines out of which over 1.4 million persons have received the 2nd dose, reaching 2.3% of the eligible population.