The federal government has flagged off the COVID-19 mass vaccination campaign aimed at vaccinating 50 per cent of the target population by end of January 2022.
Speaking at the event in Abuja on Friday, the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha, said the development is coming on the heels of the first and second rounds of vaccination that focused on the strategic leadership, frontline medical workers and other eligible citizens.
He further said: “The federal government, as part of its duties and commitment to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, speared no efforts in accessing vaccines which were deployed in a strategic manner so that the impact of the virus on all facets of our national life would be minimized.”
“…It is important to mention that through this mass vaccination campaign initiative arrangements have been made to ease all known bottlenecks to access, because the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, has expanded vaccination sites.
“These sites include public health facilities, private health facilities, mobile vaccination posts and mass vaccination sites such as Schools, Markets, shopping malls, Recreation centres, 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 the government remains conscious of its responsibility to safeguard the health of our people.”
Also, the SGF added: “II wish to seize this opportunity to appreciate all Nigerians, especially those who have stepped forward for their full doses of COVID-19 vaccines under the first and second phases of the campaign. I urge them as patriotic citizens, to remain in the army of foot soldiers against hesitancy and misconceptions.
“In spite of these unparalleled levels of commitments and the achievement recorded, in the first and second phases of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, I must inform Nigerians that we are far from achieving the national target of vaccinating 70 per cent of our eligible target population to move Nigeria towards attaining herd immunity by 2022.
“This realization 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 that would ramp up COVID-19 the numbers around the country.”
Also, speaking, the minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said: “according to situation reports on COVID-19 vaccination reaching me, just 5,985,049 persons have been vaccinated with the 1st 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.”