The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib yesterday said federal government has so far vaccinated 4.6million Nigerians against COVID-19.
Shuaib disclosed this in Benin during the South South Town Hall Meeting on COVID-19 vaccination organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the NPHCDA.
He said the meeting is to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns, reach a consensus, and support the on-going efforts by the federal and state governments to ensure citizens are safe and protected against the virus.
According to him, “Out of the 4.680 million persons, 1,865 million of them have been fully vaccinated with two doses. But, this is below our target of reaching herd immunity and this prevents us from returning to normal living.”
Shuaib attributed the reason for not meeting the set target to misinformation and disinformation about the virus and the vaccines leading to vaccines hesitancy.
“Today, as it stands, we are not only fighting COVID-19 pandemic, but we are also fighting large scale misinformation and disinformation, which has led to significant vaccination hesitancy all over the world, while the disease keeps taking lives in different quarters.
“To ensure vaccine security and accountability, NPHCDA is also collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ),” he said.
On his part, the minister of health, Dr Osage Ekhanire, said Nigeria has so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19 while the virus has also crashed the nation’s GDP to 33 percent.
He explained that federal government needs to vaccinate 70 percent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus. “The way out of this is to get vaccinated because those who had taken the virus have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger and casualty,” he said.
Also speaking, Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, said the state has so far vaccinated 130,000 residents against the virus. Represented by his chief of staff Osaigbovo Iyoha, the governor said, “Our target is to vaccinate 60 percent of our population so that the state can return to normalcy.”
Earlier, representative of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Walter Kazadi Molumbo, assured of the safety of all the vaccines being administered in the country.