THE Nigerian government has claimed its health officials vaccinate more than 200,000 persons against COVID-19 daily since the beginning of 2022.
The government said the tally was a 100 per cent rise from half of the figure the officials vaccinated daily till December 2021.
Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib stated these while addressing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said 14.09 million eligible persons had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while health workers had administered the second dose to 5.2 million persons.
Similarly, 416,980 persons have received the recently-introduced booster dose since the country started administering it in December 2020.
Shuaib said the government integrated COVID-19 vaccination with childhood immunisation and other primary health care services to make COVID-19 vaccines accessible to more people.
He said the FCT, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Ogun and Kwara states topped five performing states on the COVID-19 vaccine uptake.
Each of Jigawa and Lagos has vaccinated about 1.5 million eligible Nigerians with the first dose, while FCT, Nasarawa, Lagos and Delta lead on second dose administration with more than 10 per cent of eligible populations in each of the states already vaccinated, Shuaib said.
He called on governors to meet with the chairmen of local government areas (LGAs) in their states, including traditional, political, religious leaders and health workers, to encourage people in their neighbourhoods to take the vaccine.
He suggested that governors reward leaders of LGAs with impressive vaccination records and sanction those with poor records.
Shuaib noted that all vaccination sites remained open to eligible persons 18 years and above for first, second and booster doses.
He called on people in the country to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the mass vaccination exercise to get vaccinated against the virus.
He said no one had died from COVID-19 vaccination since the country introduced the vaccine against the disease.
He said the reason for the emergence of new variants such as Omicron, IHU and Deltacron was because a large proportion of the eligible population had not yet been vaccinated, thus giving the virus time to mutate and fight back.
He said the government had expanded the country’s vaccination to enable easier access to eligible persons.
Speaking on the need to integrate COVID-19 vaccination with childhood immunization, he said: “What this means is that alongside the COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines will also be available at COVID-19 vaccination sites. Consequently, parents or guardians with children aged zero to 23 months are urged to take them to the vaccination sites.
“The childhood vaccines protect against polio, whooping cough, measles, yellow fever, tetanus, tuberculosis, and other childhood preventable diseases.
“This is to ensure that while we are trying so hard to control the transmission of COVID-19, we do not neglect other PHC services or even have outbreaks of childhood vaccine-preventable diseases on our hands.”
Nigeria recorded 252,428 confirmed cases and 3,126 deaths from COVID-19 as of January 25.