RMTIMESNG—The federal government says it has given the COVID-19 jabs to at least 1.13 million Nigerians.
They all received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Inadequate funds, an ill-motivated workforce, and corruption are plaguing Nigeria’s health system. President Muhammadu Buhari does not trust the country’s look after him.
He has always travelled overseas for medical attention while railing against medical tourism at home. This month, Mr Buhari went on a medical vacation to the United Kingdom.
Speaking about the number of people vaccinated against COVID-19, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) via its official Twitter handle said, “As of April 21, 1,133,325 representing 56.3 per cent of the eligible persons targeted with the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered with their first dose in this vaccination phase.”
The agency added that Lagos topped the list by 218,174 shots while Kano administered 59,040. They were followed by Kaduna – 58,026, Ogun – 53,314, and the FCT 52,348.
The NPHCDA said those who received the first shot of the vaccine included health workers, frontline workers like security agents, ports of entry staff, judiciary, petrol station workers, contingency workers, and strategic leaders.
It noted that some of the states went a step further to vaccinate willing pensioners, people aged 70 and above, teachers, and journalists during the same period.
The agency noted that Lagos was the only state that inoculated more than 200,000 residents during this first phase of vaccination in the country. Lagos’ population is estimated to be at least 20 million.
The NPHCDA stated that states with lower inoculation were Bayelsa with 10,751, Ebonyi – 9567, and Taraba – 9,334.
It added that the federal government had directed states not to exceed the 50 per cent utilisation of the vaccines to allow for a second dose to those already vaccinated.
“The remaining 50 per cent reserved at the agency’s cold chain store will be administered eight to 12 weeks from the date of the first doses.
“We have been careful to ensure that only those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the current phase are being vaccinated,” it said.
Meanwhile, the agency advised Nigerians to check their vaccination cards for the next appointment dates and.
It added that people who had received the first dose should not pre-register before going to the health facility for the second dose.
The country began COVID-19 vaccination on March 5 after receiving 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through COVAX.
It received another 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from telecom giant MTN and 100,000 doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccines from India.
Meanwhile, the government said the global scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines might delay the second dose administration.