The Federal Government has received not less than 2.6 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donation from the Canadian government to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccination exercise.
The Federal Government had recently launched an optimized SCALES 3.0 strategy to ramp up the vaccination rollout process and integrate childhood routine immunization against diseases like polio, yellow fever, measles and other vaccine-preventable childhood diseases in the same locations where the adults receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib in his speech at the event said Nigeria is in a full campaign mode in which COVID-19 vaccines are not only ready-made available in the health facilities and other designated places but also brought by the vaccination teams to people door steps.
We said, “We are leveraging on our polio eradication experience to fight COVID-19, and we are pretty sure that with the kind of support we have received from the Canadian government today, and the continued cooperation of our partners and stakeholders, we will, sooner than expected, be able to put COVID-19 behind us in Nigeria.”
“I am pleased to inform you that the Canadian government has donated 2,649,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria. On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I want to sincerely thank the Government of Canada for providing this much-needed support. This donation is critical to helping Nigeria ramp up her vaccination rollout process.”
“Johnson & Johnson offers a single-dose opportunity for full vaccination, which means if you take one dose of the vaccine, you are regarded as a fully vaccinated person. However, we strongly recommend a booster dose after 2 months of taking the initial dose to strengthen your level of immunity against COVID-19. A second dose of the J&J vaccine serves as the booster dose.
“The recent MIC/NIC survey results show that despite the pandemic, Nigeria is only one of the few countries globally that recorded improved immunization coverage. I would like to thank parents and guidance who continued to take their children for vaccination even with the difficulties and challenges faced during the lockdown and limited access to health facilities.”
The Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria, Christoff, while donating the over 2.6 million vaccine doses, said that this was his first assignment as an Ambassador to Nigeria.
The Ambassador recalled that the Canadian government had earlier donated over 800 thousand doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Nigeria.
He said that the donation is in fulfilment of his country’s commitment to supporting developing countries in ramping up vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, in 2020, the world was faced with the challenge to develop an effective vaccine. In 2021 the challenges evolved to the production and distribution of the vaccines. Today in 2022, we need to put this vaccine within people’s reach.”
The UNICEF Nigeria Chief of Health Dr Eduardo Celades Blanco used the opportunity to call on eligible Nigerians who were yet to be vaccinated to do so.
Blanco said: “if we keep up with the vaccination, the likely scenario is that even though the virus continues to evolve, the severity of the disease will reduce over time as the immunity increases due to vaccination.”
While appreciating the Canadian government for the donation, he said the gesture came at a time it is most needed.
He commended the recent MIC/NIC survey on vaccination, stressing that despite the pandemic, the country is only one of the few countries globally that recorded improved immunization coverage.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo also commended the country’s COVID-19 mass vaccination strategy.
Mulombo, who was represented by Dr Kofi Boateng, EPI Focal Point, Universal Health Coverage(UHC) also disclosed that other African countries were already looking up to Nigeria to learn how to roll out their vaccinations campaign.
According to NPHCDA, as of August 18, 2022, 40,700,979 of the eligible population have received the first dose of vaccines, while 28,659,698 persons have been fully vaccinated.
This represents 25.6 per cent of the eligible population. Meanwhile, 2,666,830 fully vaccinated persons have received their booster doses.
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