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FG doubts feasibility of national target of 70% vaccination

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CHAIRMAN of Presiden­tial Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha had hinted that Nigeria was far from achieving the national target of vaccinating 70 per cent of the eligible target population to move the country towards attaining herd immunity by 2022.

   Mustapha made this known at the National Flag-off of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Campaign aimed at ramping up coverage to at least 50% of el­igible target population by  January 3, 2022.

This is in spite of unparalleled levels of commitments and the achievement recorded in the first and second phases of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

According to him, it is important to mention that through this Mass Vaccination Campaign initiative, arrange­ments have been made to ease all known bottlenecks to access because NPHCDA has expanded vaccination sites.

“Nigerians are assured that the NPHCDA has also taken stringent measures to prevent any compromise of the process along the value chain. This vac­cination is free because Govern­ment remains conscious of its responsibility to safeguard the health of our people. Let me at this juncture, re­mind Nigerians that the Vaccine Mandate Policy has become a global phenomenon and Nige­ria is not an exception.

All Fed­eral Government employees are therefore reminded that Decem­ber 1, 2021, remains the deadline for all to show evidence of being vaccinated or a PCR Negative Test Result done 72 hours before being allowed into their offices.

 I, therefore, urge all public servants that are yet to be vac­cinated to take advantage of this mass vaccination to receive their vaccines in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. Remember, no one is protected until we are all protected,” he said.

Similarly, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire said Nigeria ranks among the high-performing countries in total COVID-19 response, including vaccine rollout.

Nevertheless, he said Nigeria cannot rest on its oars.

“Because of our population of 214 million people we have more to do, within the same time frame, than smaller countries,” he said.

“We must speed up the cur­rent vaccination rate across the whole country; we must work harder and faster than others, just to get the same result. It is critical that we reach all the eli­gible persons in good time.

“According to situation reports on COVID-19 vaccination reaching me, just 5,985,049 persons have been vaccinated with the first dose, with 3,336,866 of these receiving their second dose, as of 18th November 2021, out of a target population of 111,776,503. From these figures, we can see that we are not where we want to be with the pace of vaccination.

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