It has been reported that no less than 1,783,676 Nigerian citizens have been fully vaccinated since the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccination in March.
Those who have received the first doses of AstraZeneca and Moderna are put at 4,487,367.
The figures were given yesterday by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib during a joint news conference by the agency, the World Health Organisation(WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Shuaib also said the United Kingdom (UK) had assured that it would not include Nigeria in its COVID-19 red alert list.
The list is a part of UK’s new travel advisory scheduled to take effect from October 4.
The WHO insisted that proof of COVID-19 vaccination was not a prerequisite for entry to or exit from countries by travellers.
Shedding light on Nigeria’s efforts at containing the spread of the virus the NPHCDA boss said: “As of yesterday, 20th September 2021, a total of 4,487,367 eligible persons have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
“ This is made up of 2,863,422 persons who have taken the first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,623,945 persons who have taken the first dose of Moderna vaccine. So far, 1,783,676 eligible persons have been fully vaccinated, of which 1,781,840 are with the AstraZeneca vaccine, while 1,836 persons have had the Moderna vaccine.”
On the UK travel advisory, Shuaib clarified that the “guidance provided by the UK Government is that they would want to simplify the classification of countries from green, amber and red to just a red and green list.”
He explained that “countries that are currently on the amber list may fall into either of these two categories— red and green list.”
Nigeria and the UK, according to him. “ have had preliminary discussions” and “we have been assured that Nigeria will maintain the status quo. That is to say, Nigeria will not be on the red list.”
He added that the UK has no issues with the vaccines used in Nigeria.
”The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, also known as Covishield that is used in Nigeria was approved by the UK regulatory body (MHRA), other stringent regulatory authorities, and WHO. So, the U,K government does recognise the vaccines used in Nigeria,” Shuaib said.
WHO Country Representative Walter Mulombo reiterated that the global health agency does not recommend making proof of vaccination a prerequisite for entry and exit in any country.
He said the decision was “because vaccines are still scarce and there is vaccine inequity.”
Dr. Gupta Gangan, who represented UNICEF’s Country Representative Peter Hawkins, hailed Nigeria’s successful rollout of AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccinations.
He encouraged the Federal Government to ramp up vaccine logistics to be able to deliver the drugs to places they are needed the most.
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had earlier said it apprehended persons who attempted to illegally procure COVID-19 vaccination cards in the FCT.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Healthcare Development Board, Dr Ndaeyo Iwot, said the suspects would adequately face the law.