*As number of eligible persons increases by 4m
By Joseph Erunke, ABUJA
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said Nigeria has a vaccine stock balance of 28,968,045 doses at the moment.
But the agency disclosed that the country was awaiting delivery of more vaccines in the coming weeks.
The agency’s Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, who said these on Monday, at the Ministerial Press Briefing, organised by the Federal Ministry of Health, also disclosed that this year, the number of the eligible population has increased from 111,773,503 to 115,983,921 “as a result of an increase in a number of persons who turned 18 years.”
Speaking through his representative, Dr Garba Bulama, the NPHCDA boss said:”At the start of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, we targeted to vaccinate 70% of our eligible population by December 2022.
“As of today, Monday, January 9″” 2023, 76,161,470 eligible persons have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines In Nigeria, representing 65.7% of our eligible population.
” 64,094,498 persons have been fully vaccinated and this represents 55.3% of our eligible population. 9,892,018 have received their booster doses.
“This year, we have seen an increase in the number of our eligible population from 111,773,503 to 115,983,921 as a result of an increase in the number of persons who turned 18 years. “
Noting that the fight against COVID-19 was not over, he recalled that,”Three years after the novel coronavirus emerged, a new variant, XBB.1.5, is quickly becoming the dominant strain in parts of the United States and has been detected in at least 28 other countries, according to the World Health Organization.”
” It is because of a potent mix of mutations that makes it easier to spread broadly. XBB.1.5 has been pegged by the World Health Organization as “the most transmissible” descendant yet of the omicron variant.
“While accounting for just 1% of all Covid cases at the start of December, estimates from the us Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that it surged to become the dominant strain by the end of the month, responsible for about 41% of all infections. In northeastern states, that figure has jumped above 702,” he said.
He spoke further:”The increase in the number of cases seen globally is a result of the mutation that is occurring and the low intake of booster doses. We are therefore calling on all Nigerians to ensure that they take their booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines. Just like the flu vaccine, the COVID-19 vaccines have become routinized vaccines that help protect us against this deadly virus.
“We are continuously working with all stakeholders at National, State and Local Government to increase awareness, social mobilization and increase coverage.
“As of January 7“ 2023, Nigeria has a vaccine stock balance of 28,968,045 doses. More vaccines are still expected over the coming weeks.
“We, therefore, encourage all Nigerians to visit the nearest government facility to ensure they are up to date with either their first, second or booster doses. The covid-19 vaccines are available, they are free and they are safe.
“We will continue to work with the states and partners to ensure that low-performing states are pushed to ensure full coverage of all eligible populations.”