COVID-19: Over 5.7m Nigerians vaccinated, 70% targeted by 2022

The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has vaccinated 5,770,899 persons with the first dose of the COVID-19 and 3,146,885 have taken the second dose, Director, Planning Research and Statistics, Dr. Abdullahi Bulama Garba has said.

He stated this during the Ministerial Press Briefing update on COVID-19 vaccination, Monday.

He added that there were over eight million doses of vaccines in the country at the moment, but that the country was still expecting more doses.

He said to achieve herd immunity against the infection, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.

“To achieve this, the vaccine roll-out was scheduled to be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, amongst others.

“The second phase has commenced and it is capturing older adults, aged 50 years and above, and those aged between 18 and 49 years of age,” he stated.

Director of Disease Surveillance Department, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Mrs Elsie Ilori, stated that while progress had been made in response to the ongoing pandemic with the fact-paced development of diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccines globally, variants of concern with increased transmissibility pose a threat.

Ilori said the pandemic continues to play out differently across countries worldwide. Notably, Africa had seen fewer severe cases and deaths but despite limitations of testing has experienced similar transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in its population.

She added that Delta variant remains the dominant variant globally, adding that, alongside existing safety measures, widespread vaccination was providing a means for the world to exit this pandemic.