Nigerian govt to integrate COVID-19 vaccination, childhood immunisation campaigns

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The Nigerian government has announced plans to integrate routine childhood immunisation at various COVID-19 vaccination sites across the country.

The executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made this known at the National COVID-19 weekly briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

Mr Shuaib said the integration is to ensure that preventable childhood diseases are not neglected in the face of the response against the pandemic.

He said; “In this phase of COVID-19 mass vaccination, the campaign would be integrated with childhood immunisation and other primary health care services.

“What this simply means is that alongside the COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines will also be available at COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“The childhood vaccines protect against polio, whooping cough, measles, yellow fever, tetanus, tuberculosis, and other childhood preventable diseases.”

He urged parents or guardians with children aged zero to 23 months to take them along to the vaccination sites.

COVID-19 vaccination

Mr Shuaib said over 14 million eligible persons in Nigeria have received the first shot of COVID-19 vaccines.

He also said over five million eligible Nigerians have taken their second dose making them fully vaccinated against the virus.

“Our record as of today, Tuesday, January 25 2022 shows that 14,093,873 eligible persons have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria while 5,252,406 eligible Nigerians have been fully vaccinated,” he said.

Mr Shuaib, however, said these results are not evenly distributed across the states of the federation.

He said a deep dive into state performances reveals that Nasarawa, Jigawa, FCT, Ogun, and Kwara have remained the top 5 performing states on COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

“It is noteworthy to mention that Jigawa and Lagos have each vaccinated about 1.5million eligible Nigerians with the first dose, while FCT, Nasarawa, Lagos and Delta are leading on second dose administration with more than 10 per cent of eligible populations in each of the states already vaccinated,” he said.

He said this information will serve as an encouragement for the states in the vaccine uptake, going forward.

More cases

Mr Shuaib said the holiday season came with a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country.

He said several unvaccinated individuals were migrating from the cities to the rural areas and back to the cities.

He said; “Globally, we saw the emergence of new variants such as IHU variant in France which is said to have 46 mutations, Deltacron in Cyprus and the Omicron variant still being highly infectious with a BA.2 subvariant rapidly spreading.

“More of our citizens were coming down with the infection. Luckily for our vaccinated population, those who came down with the infection had mild symptoms which they managed at home due to the immunity the vaccination provided them.”

The NPHCDA boss added that new variants are emerging because there is still a large proportion of the eligible population yet to be vaccinated.

He noted that vaccination prevents people from severe disease, hospitalisation, and deaths related to the virus.

He encourage Nigerians to utilise the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country to get fully vaccinated.

He said; “It is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones by getting the jab. Our vaccination exercise was expanded to enable all eligible persons to have easier access.


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“All vaccination sites are open to eligible persons, 18 years and above for first, second and booster doses. We call on Nigerians to avail themselves of this opportunity in the ongoing mass vaccination exercise to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

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In his remarks, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria Representative, Peter Hawkins, said more and more Nigerians are getting vaccinated against COVID-19 on a daily basis.

Mr Hawkins said about 200,000 Nigerians get vaccinated against COVID-19 everyday. He said this is a great achievement compared to where the country started from.

He said this figure can further be extended to 300,000 daily to meet the country’s target of 2022.

Mr Hawkins urges state governments to revitalise their efforts to ensure vaccines are not only available but the people get vaccinated.

He also said Nigeria has so far received about 60 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

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