By Nefishetu Yakubu
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 4,680,000 Nigerians have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19 .
The Executive Director /Chief Executive Officer of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during the South South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination on Saturday in Benin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with NPHCDA and the Edo government.
Shuaib noted that out of the 4,680,000 million vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
He stated that the figure was below the nation’s target ,adding that the threats posed by the virus could prevent the country from returning to normal living.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
According to him, in the course of the next few weeks, NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib, however, disclosed that the Federal Government had set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire said the town hall was organised to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, address mutual concerns and reach a consensus to ensure citizens were safe and protected against the deadly coronavirus.
Ehanire, said Nigeria had so far lost 2000 of her citizens to COVID-19, adding that the virus had also affected the nation’s GDP.
According to him ,the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out off this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” he said
He disclosed that the Federal Government was working with the private sector for the production of vaccine in the country.
According to the minister, records have shown that over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from COVID-19 are from unvaccinated persons.
Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki said the state had so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, Obaseki said the state target was to vaccinate 60
per cent of the population.