Nigeria launches second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in efforts to mitigate pandemic effects

NIGERIA – The Federal Government has launched the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination 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. 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 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 cold chain requirements.

This would be adequate for 35,835,970 persons (additional 32.9% 0f 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.

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 country.

In 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 first tranche of Astra Zeneca vaccines was used 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 eligible population.

Nigeria has registered 8,179 COVID-19 infections in 15 days, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said. The NCDC reported four COVID-19 related fatalities within the last 24 hours, making the number of fatalities to 72 in the last 15 days.

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