The Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha on Friday hinted that Nigerian is far from achieving the national target of vaccinating 70% of the eligible target population to move Nigeria towards attaining herd immunity by 2022.
This is in spite of unparalleled levels of commitments and the achievement recorded in the first and second phases of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
He added that this realisation of the low level of vaccination and developments around the world have combined to drive the adoption of the COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign strategy.
According to him, “It is important to mention that through this Mass Vaccination Campaign initiative, arrangements have been made to ease all known bottlenecks to access because NPHCDA has expanded vaccination sites.
These sites include (i) public health facilities, (ii) private health facilities, (iii) mobile vaccination posts, and (iv) mass vaccination sites such as schools, markets, shopping malls, recreation centers, motor parks, worship houses, and other public places that attract high human traffic.
“Nigerians are assured that the NPHCDA has also taken stringent measures to prevent any compromise of the process along the value chain. This vaccination is free because Government remains conscious of its responsibility to safeguard the health of our people.
“Let me at this juncture, remind Nigerians that the Vaccine Mandate Policy has become a global phenomenon and Nigeria is not an exception. All Federal Government Employees are there fore reminded that December 1, 2021, remains the deadline for all to show evidence of being vaccinated or a PCR Negative Test Result done 72 hours before being allowed into their offices.
Similarly, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said that Nigeria ranks among the high-performing countries in total COVID-19 response, including vaccine rollout.
Nevertheless, he said Nigeria cannot rest on its oars because; “with our population of 214 million people we have more to do, within the same time frame, than smaller countries.
“We must speed up the current vaccination rate across the whole country; we must work harder and faster than others, just to get the same result. It is critical that we reach all the eligible persons in good time.
“According to situation reports on COVID-19 vaccination reaching me, just 5,985,049 persons have been vaccinated with the first dose, with 3,336,866 of these receiving their second dose, as of 18th November 2021, out of a target population of 111,776,503. From these figures, we can see that we are not where we want to be with the pace of vaccination.