Home NewsInternational Nigeria receives 3million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Italy

Nigeria receives 3million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Italy

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has received 3,002,400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines donated by the Government of Italy.

The vaccines were presented by the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo and received by the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, in Abuja on Monday.

The Italian Ambassador said the gesture was a sign of mutual solidarity between the Italian Government and the people of Nigeria and meant to support the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NPHCDA director, in his acceptance speech, appreciated the government and people of Italy for the gesture, noted that the donation is a “reflection of the sincerity and commitment of the Government of Italy and European delegates to the global efforts in halting this pandemic for nations of the world to return to their normal way of life.”

Dr Shuaib gave an assurance that the Nigerian government would utilise the donated vaccines and all other vaccines donated to the country effectively.

“To ensure we fully utilise the COVID-19 vaccination programme in strengthening the primary health care system by using routine immunisation as entry point, our current strategic approach for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, known as optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, entails the integration of COVID-19 Vaccines with our current implementation.

“This means that parents and caregivers with children or wards aged zero to two years, are encouraged to bring their children along to the COVID-19 vaccination site where childhood vaccines are available.

“While the adult receives COVID-19 vaccines, the children are assessed for the antigen they are due for and vaccinated. Thus, making the vaccination exercise more family-friendly. We believe this will further motivate eligible persons, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” he said.

Shuaib called on eligible Nigerians, who are yet to be vaccinated to do so, in order to halt the transmission of the virus.

The NPHCDA director revealed that “as at the 11th of April 2022, 13,588,718 persons, which is approximately 12.2 per cent of our total eligible population have been fully vaccinated while 23,012,700 Nigerians have received their first dose.

“This represents 18 per cent of the total eligible population. We have also intensified our technical support to the states to ramp up the vaccination coverage,” he added.

“Lassa fever is known to be endemic in West African countries, primarily in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria, but may exist in other countries in the same region,” the WHO stated.

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