By Asmau Ahmad
The National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, says no fewer than 46 million eligible Nigerians have been successfully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA) virtually briefed State House correspondents after a virtual NEC meeting anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shuaib said he made a presentation to the council on three broad areas, the COVID-19 vaccination update, polio eradication and also routine immunisation.
“In terms of where we are with COVID-19 vaccination, we now have vaccinated successfully, 46 million Nigerians.
“This represents about 42 per cent of the totally eligible Nigerians and it is in keeping with what the Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health have been tracking in term of our targets.
“We have also recognised an increase in the number of people who are getting vaccinated; a few months ago, by the average daily vaccination rate was about 200, 000 people per day but now we are vaccinating over 350, 000 Nigerians per day.
“And this is really commendable; it is worth mentioning as well that the Federal Government has adequate numbers of COVID-19 vaccinations to cover all Nigerians.”
According to Faisal, there is the need for more Nigerians to come out enmasse to take the vaccinations.
On polio eradication, the NPHDA boss said that the last case of the wild polio virus in Nigeria was in August, 2016.
“So, this means that as we celebrate world polio virus day by nest week Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari has actually his promise that he will not hand over a Nigeria that has children with these viruses.
“Then, we have seen in the last 24 months, increase in the reported cases circulating variant polio viruses but thanks the incredible work of states working with our partners under the leadership of the president.
“We recorded a decrease in the numbers of circulating polio viruses from 806 cases around this time last year, we now have reported 133 cases in 2022 given the same period.
“And then the number of local government areas that are reporting circulating variant polio viruses have also decreased from 186 to just 48 local government areas.
“Again, significant improvement in the success rate; thanks to Nigerians coming forth with their children and getting vaccinated.”
He added that there had been massive improvements in routine immunisation.
According to him, Nigeria is only one of five countries globally where the pandemic did not negatively impact routine immunisation coverage.
“Again, this thanks to all the leadership we have seen at the national and sub-national level and of course, the hard work of frontline health workers,” he said.