Nigeria is yet to meet the year-end global target of vaccinating 70 per cent target coverage with the COVID-19 vaccines, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.
Shuaib made this known in an interview with our reporter on Tuesday in Abuja.
“We are 21.6 million eligible persons away from reaching its target of fully vaccinating 70 per cent of its eligible population by December 2022.
“But 62 per cent of the country’s eligible population is atleast partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
“As at Nov. 25, 56,790,371, total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12,492,646 of total eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are partially vaccinated in 36 States and the FCT.
“The country has fully vaccinated half of the total population eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
“WE have also fully vaccinated an additional over 25 per cent of its eligible population, in the last 110 days of SCALES 3.0 implementation,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss said that 13.2 per cent of fully vaccinated persons in the country have received the COVID-19 booster dose for additional protection against the virus.
He commended the COVID-19 Strategy Group for achieving 50 per cent vaccination coverage in the country. While attributing the success to the team working tirelessly.
Shuaib said he has also directed the team to intensify efforts towards the attainment of at least 70 per cent of the country’s targeted population to achieve herd immunity on COVID-19.
He also congratulated Nigeria for the feat and promised to sustain the momentum.
The NPHCDA boss said that the country’s target remains to hit 70 per cent of the targeted population.
“Until this is achieved, the strategy group will continue to develop strategies that will help the country achieve health security,” he said.
It was reported that the country in the last nine days has not registered any new infection of COVID-19, as at Nov. 19, the country has 266,283 confirmed infections, 259,640 discharged cases and 3,155 deaths, since the commencement of the pandemic in February 2020.
In the last six months, the country has sustained a decline in the number of new cases of COVID-19 and a sustained decline in the importation of infection of COVID-19 from other countries.
It has also seen a consistent decline in hospitalisation and the country has not recorded any mortality in the last 46 days, these are the indices.
Meanwhile, the latest COVID-19 waves in China have revealed more transmissible but less lethal strains of the coronavirus, but it is too early to be optimistic, public health experts have warned.
Just days after China relaxed some zero-COVID-19 measures, infection numbers in the current outbreak hit a new high of 40,052 on Monday, with 36,304 yet to show symptoms.
As of Nov 27, 104 cases were identified as “severe”, with seven deaths recorded so far. All patients who died were over 80 and had comorbidities.
According to epidemiologists, waves risk burdening the health system and if China were to change its response, it should put fewer resources into mass testing and more into vaccination and public education.
Meanwhile, Public Health experts in Nigeria, have said that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 should tighten the country’s rules on testing of international arrivals across all airports and land borders.