The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has revealed that over a million eligible people against COVID-19 have been vaccinated out of its target of 70 per cent of the nation’s population.
The NPHCDA disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Thursday.
It noted that the vaccine roll-out would be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers; as well as COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.
The second phase involves older adults aged 50 years and above. Those with co-morbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age. Phase 3 is for those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2; while Phase 4 is other eligible population as vaccines become available.
The agency said that as of April 15, 2021, just 1,051.096 shots had been administered in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); representing 52.2 percent of the eligible people to be vaccinated in the country.
Nigeria began the COVID-19 vaccination programme on March 5, 2021; commencing with healthcare workers who are mostly at risk to the infections, being the first responders. For the country to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, it had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.
The country took delivery of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX; a UN-backed effort that promises access to free vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population. The delivery is part of an overall 16 million doses for Nigeria in batches over the next months.
In addition, on March 21, 2021 the country received another 300,000 doses of the same vaccine from telecoms giant, MTN; whilst the government of India also delivered 100,000 doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria on April 6.
The COVISHIELD, a brand of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, is used in over 71 countries; including the UK, Canada, India and Brazil.