The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said it has commenced phase two vaccination of Covid-19 in 35 states including the Federal Capital Territory.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja, on Tuesday.
According to Shuaib, those who have not had any vaccination, the Moderna Vaccine is available and is being administered currently in all designated health facilities in the Country, while those who have had their 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine is encouraged to visit their designated health facility to get their 2nd dose.
Shuaib said that as at Monday 30th August 2021, Nigeria has so far vaccinated Two million eight hundred and ninety-seven thousand two hundred and one, (2,897,201) with the first doze and one million four hundred and thirty thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine (1,430,379) eligible persons with 2nd doses across the 36 States including the Federal Capital Territory.
He called on Nigerians who received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine before 8th July 2021 to go and get their second dose to be fully protected against all strains of the Corona virus.
NPCHDA also appreciated the United Kingdom government for her generous donation of an additional 592,880 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, which was received on Thursday 26th of August 2021 through the COVAX Facility, making the total quantity of vaccines donated by the United Kingdom Government to stand at one million two hundred and ninety-two thousand six hundred and forty, (1,292,640) doses.
Shuaib explained that additional doses, would be included in the 2nd dose vaccination exercise currently ongoing for clients who have already taken the 1st dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the 1st phase.
He also appealed to Governors to continue to provide leadership in the mobilization of citizens to prioritize the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine.
Read the text of the NPHCDA boss’ speech at the briefing below:
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press, it is an honor to be here with you today to provide Nigerians with updates on the COVID-19 vaccination rollout exercise in the Country.
Our phase 2 vaccination has commenced in 35 states plus the FCT. For clients who have not had any vaccination, the Moderna Vaccine is available and is being administered currently in all designated health facilities in the Country, while those who have had their 1st dose of AstraZeneca vaccine are encouraged to visit their designated health facility to get their 2nd dose. As at 30th August 2021, Nigeria has so far vaccinated 2,897,201 and 1,430,379 eligible persons with 1st and 2nd doses respectively across the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory.
We would like to thank the UK government for her generous donation of an additional 592,880 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, which was received on Thursday the 26th of August 2021 through the COVAX Facility. The total quantity of vaccines donated by the UK Government stands at 1,292,640 doses. The additional doses would be included in the 2nd dose vaccination exercise currently ongoing for clients who have already taken the 1st dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the 1st phase. I therefore use this opportunity to once again call on those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine before 8th July 2021 to go and get their second dose to be fully protected against all strains of the Corona virus.
We would like to encourage Governors to continue to provide leadership in the mobilization of citizens to prioritize the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. We are particularly enthused by the example shown by the Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki, as he mobilized churches and religious leaders towards mass acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine. Already, we are getting request from Edo State for additional vaccines. This is highly commendable.
While we continue to appreciate the professional support of the media in providing information and regular news update on the vaccination process, I wish to appeal that more dedicated contents and programs addressing misinformation and educating the people on the benefits of getting vaccinated are shared. Nigeria and the rest of the world need to end the pandemic, recover from its economic adversities and return to normalcy. However, getting this done will be difficult if we do not face the issues of misinformation and disinformation squarely.
As a rule of thumb, we endeavor not to join issues with individuals who would rather concoct misinformation that could negatively affect the health of citizens. This is because even acknowledging some of these falsehoods elevates and adds fuel to a raging flame that benefits only the perpetrator. Nevertheless, we are constrained by the volume of specific enquiries about a viral text message which purports that the US Supreme Court has cancelled universal vaccination. Let’s set the record straight and once again punch holes in the malicious intentions of anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists: The US Supreme Court has not “overturned universal vaccination” – there is no record of such a case, and there is no such thing as “universal vaccination” in the US. So this is another case of “Fake News”.
There is often a lot of uncertainty in crisis situations, and this leads people to come together and share information in a collective, sense-making process. This process can sometimes get things right, but it can also get things wrong, thereby producing rumors that turn out to be false. As Nigerians, when we hear or read an information, we must always verify the credibility of the source, whether the information is internally consistent, and whether there is supporting evidence. Nigerians are encouraged to always reflect on the veracity of the claims they encounter. People need to understand that disinformation is fundamentally exploitative— it tries to use our religion, our patriotism, and our desire for justice to outrage us and dupe us into faulty reasoning.
Our success in wild polio virus eradication was not without similar challenges. The false claims currently disseminated that COVID-19 vaccines are intended for genetic manipulations were similar to the claims that polio vaccines were intended to kill Muslims, but today, thanks to our resilience, solidarity and collective will, we have cause to celebrate our hard-won victory over wild polio virus in Nigeria.
Permit me to reiterate the fact that a vaccine is a reliable and proven tool for prevention and control of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19. A vaccine works by stimulating the immune system to induce immune cells and proteins, called antibodies, that confer immunity or protection against the disease. The mRNA technology used to develop the new coronavirus vaccines has been in development for almost two decades. Scientists developed the technology to help respond quickly to pandemics, such as COVID-19. It is therefore ridiculous when the anti-vaccination campaigners claim that COVID-19 alters the human DNA or that people will die in two weeks or two years after vaccination. Similar claims, that polio vaccines were intended to cause infertility and kill our children, were made in the past but today, many of the children who received polio vaccine have grown to adulthood, become parents and are fulfilling their various dreams. No child in the country died of polio vaccination. It is therefore critically important for us all to always seek correct and accurate information about COVID-19 vaccines from reliable sources, so that we can be rightly guided to dispel fake news and misinformation from individuals or groups driven by mischief.
We will continue to work closely with all states to optimize logistics for the full take off of the phase 2 vaccination exercise in order to ensure maximum utilization of available vaccines in Nigeria. Let me again remind us that the ‘whole of family approach’ in this phase of vaccination exercise gives all children aged 0 to 12 months the opportunity to receive childhood vaccination and get screened for malnutrition while adults aged 40 years and above can check their blood pressure and know their diabetes risk status among others.
The Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health is exploring ways of making vaccines more available to all Nigerians including Federal Civil Servants and Corporate entities. Once these vaccines are made equitably available to all Nigerians, then we would need to have a frank discussion about justice, fairness and liberty that exist around vaccine hesistancy. If some individuals refuse to take the vaccine, hence endangering those who have or those who could not due to medical exemptions, then we have to apply the basic rule of law which stipulates that your human right stops where mine begins. So, you have a right to refuse vaccines, but you do not have the right to endanger the health of others.
Let me once again, assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is very alert on the safety and efficacy of the various range of vaccines we are using in the country, and that is why we are not compromising on any component of our vaccine logistics at Federal and state levels. I once again appeal to all our health workers to remain steadfast in discharging their professional responsibility to Nigerians. The Federal government is working hard and supporting the states in ensuring that Nigerians are protected against COVID-19. This is a collective fight in which we all have responsibility as Nigerians to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community.
At this juncture, I would like to remind all Nigerians that evidence of vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory for all pilgrims to the holy cities of Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem. I therefore urge adherents of both religions who are planning to perform pilgrimage next year or in the future, to get vaccinated now to avoid any delays. This is also to bring to our attention, that as the COVID-19 vaccines become available worldwide, some countries have made vaccination a requirement to gain access to their country.
Fellow Nigerians, the COVID-19 vaccines are available in all states across the country. We urge all eligible Nigerians to take advantage of its availability and get vaccinated.
As you get vaccinated, please remember to continue to wear your face masks, observe hand hygiene, observe physical distancing until we achieve herd immunity. Also remember to convince your loved ones, friends and colleagues that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
I thank you for listening
Dr. Faisal Shuaib