COVID-19: PSC flags off National Vaccination Campaign to cover 50% of eligible population by Jan. 2022
Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, has flagged off the National COVID-19 vaccination Campaign, aimed at ramping up coverage to at least 50% of the eligible target population by 31st January 2022.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chairman, PSC on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this while flagging off the National COVID-19 vaccination Campaign on Friday in Abuja.
Mustapha said that the campaign is a continuation of the Strategic Vaccine Roll-Out plan in line with its national response.
“The Federal Government, as part of its duties and commitment to the welfare and safety of Nigerians, speared no efforts in accessing vaccines which were deployed in a strategic manner so that the impact of the virus on all facets of our national life would be minimized.
“In addition to vaccines donated to our country, huge resources have been committed to ensuring that our citizens have access to the effective and safe vaccines, awareness is adequately created to ensure that vaccine hesitancy is minimized.
“Strategy was developed to target the vaccination of at least 70 per cent of our population for herd immunity, Infrastructure was developed nationwide to support the supply and delivery chain, adequate manpower is recruited and trained to deliver the vaccines, protocols were developed and updated regularly to minimize the risk of internal spread and importation of the virus; technology is deployed to keep records of the vaccines administered, people vaccinated and ensure that side effects were adequately monitored.
“Building health infrastructure and human resources to safely bring the process closest to our eligible target population; Strict measures were taken to prevent fake vaccines from getting into the system; and as a futuristic measure, prepare travelling Nigerians for the emerging trends which require full vaccination as a pre-condition for travels to certain destinations,” he outlined.
The SGF said that the mass vaccination campaign initiative arrangements have been made to ease all known bottlenecks to access because NPHCDA had expanded vaccination sites.
“These sites include (i) public health facilities, (ii) private health facilities, (iii) mobile vaccination posts and (iv) mass vaccination sites such as-: Schools, Markets, shopping malls, Recreation centers, Motor parks, worship houses, and other public places that attract high human traffic,” he added.
He assured Nigerians that the NPHCDA had also taken stringent measures to prevent any compromise of the process along the value chain.
“This vaccination is free because the government remains conscious of its responsibility to safeguard the health of our people,” he said.
He reminded Nigerians that the Vaccine Mandate Policy had become a global phenomenon and Nigeria is not an exception.
He added that all Federal Government Employees are therefore reminded that December 1, 2021, remains the deadline for all to show evidence of being vaccinated or a PCR NEGATIVE TEST RESULT done 72 hours before being allowed into their offices.
Mustapha urged all public servants that are yet to be vaccinated to take advantage of this mass vaccination to receive their vaccines in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.
“Remember, no one is protected until we are all protected,” he said.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, added that the country’s aim is to vaccinate 55 million Nigerians by the end of January 2022, which is 50 per cent of its target population.
“We have enough vaccines and are assured of the flow of high-quality vaccines from many sources to be certain that we can sustain the campaign to meet the deadline we have set for ourselves.
“The FMOH plans to maintain that energy and strive for herd immunity, which we had calculated to be by vaccinating at least 70 per cent of our eligible population; but our preference is to exceed that target, because lessons we learn from observing developments in other countries, is that we need to aim higher than 70 per cent to be more assured of protecting the health of most Nigerians.
“But this ambition can succeed only with mass mobilization and participation of citizens. This is why I call on all our partners in this fight to confront COVID-19, starting with their Excellencies, state governors, LGA chairmen, traditional and religious leaders, Ward Development Committees, community leaders, the media, and all citizens to take this as a national task and urge eligible unvaccinated persons to turn up for the vaccination exercise by walking to a nearby vaccination centre,” he urged.
The minister said that the government is committed to providing safe and efficacious COVID-19 vaccines and dispensing them backed with accountability and transparency.
“All vaccines are tagged and tracked by NAFDAC to ensure that quality and potency are maintained in the supply chain.
No vaccine is allowed for any vaccination, except authenticated and with safety verification. We do not compromise safety and standards,” he assured.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, advised states that are yet to flag off or commence mass vaccination, to expedite actions towards doing so as they continue the on-going vaccination.
Shuaib added that the government do not expect any state to suspend ongoing vaccination until mass vaccination is flagged off.
“All states should continue vaccination and fast track actions to commence mass vaccination. Let us also remember that mass vaccination requires mass mobilization of eligible persons to the vaccination sites.
“If large numbers of vaccination sites are in place, and people are not adequately mobilized, the turn out will be poor. To this end, we urge all the states to ensure that the list of all vaccination sites is published across different media platforms.
“Let there be sufficient public service announcements on radio, TV and social media,” he urged. (NAN)