Niger State governor and chairman, North Central Governors’ Forum (NCGF) Abubakar Sani Bello says out of the 74,110 doses of COVID-19 vaccines received by the state, 35,170 doses have been utilised in the state, representing 47.5 per cent.
Sanni Bello stated this when he participated in a town hall meeting of the North Central states on COVID-19 vaccination held in Nassarawa State, organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Sani Bello who joined the meeting virtually, said the state would not exceed the 50 per cent utilisation of the vaccines as directed by the federal government, so as to allow for second dose to those who have taken the first jabs.
He also explained that the state had been able to establish one of the best molecular laboratories in the country and is leveraging on the pandemic to reposition the healthcare system in the state, particularly in responding to future pandemics.
Sani Bello acknowledged that though there were initial doubts in accepting the vaccine, the state government took actions through sensitisation that immediately resolved the issues.
The governor said among those that have benefitted in the first dose are strategic leaders; comprising all state executive council members, House of Assembly members, religious and traditional leaders, frontline workers and their supporting staff, as well as the population at risk such as men in uniform, security personnel, petrol station attendants among others, adding that efforts are being made to ensure all eligible persons are vaccinated.
Sani Bello highlighted that since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the state, the state government took giant strides in combating the pandemic by coming up with a strategic working document, establishing a task force involving all relevant stakeholders and the passage of executive orders geared towards containing the pandemic.
He commended the organisers of the event and the efforts of the Federal Government, as well as National Primary Health Care Development Agency, for coordinating the vaccination roll out.
Niger State commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammed Makusidi also participated in the meeting virtually.
The town hall meeting brought together all relevant stakeholders from all the North Central states in Nigeria.