The Federal government on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, lamented the loss of over 2,000 Nigerians to the COVID-19 pandemic and urged stakeholders to mobilize against the dreaded pandemic.
Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the government of the federation, stated this at the presidential Steering Committee on COVID19 town hall meeting on COVID19 vaccination for North Central Zone in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital.
According to Boss Mustapha who is also the chairman Steering Committee on COVID19, over 142 million persons in Nigeria have been infested with the virus adding that the country was yet to receive a negative report on the effect of the vaccine administered on people since the receipt ion of the Oxford AstraZanica vaccine in March this year.
While noting that the nation would soon overcome the pandemic, the SGF disclosed that travelling out of the country will henceforth be determined by Covid19 vaccination.
Also speaking, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said that 2,0060 Nigeria have died of COVID-19 since the first case of the disease was confirmed in Lagos on 27th February 2020.
According to the minister, the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP by 23 percent due to the downturn in the economic activities within and outside Nigeria as well as the international trading partners.
He explained that the federal government had successfully taken delivery of the first batch of 4 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines on 2nd March 2021 stating further that 50 percent doses of the vaccine had been administered, while the remaining 50 percent would be administered between 8-12 weeks from the date of the first dosage.
According to him, over a million eligible Nigerians have received their first dose of the vaccine awaiting the second jab, saying the first of the four-phase vaccination exercise is currently ongoing targeting the frontline health workers and support personnel, first responders including military and paramilitary, journalists amongst others.
He added that the target was to vaccinate at least 70% of the eligible population for two year period, to achieve herd immunity saying his Ministry and its agencies, Departments were working with stakeholders to ensure that Nigeria benefits from the global supply of WHO approved COVID-19 vaccines.
”We must contribute to the desired 70% to be vaccinated, not just an act of individual self-protection, but a civic duty to curtail the spread of the virus.
Every one of us has a role in the effort to stem the COVID-19 pandemic by being vaccinated, promoting vaccination, and observing the COVID-19 protocol of wearing a face mask, regular handwashing with soap under running water, and maintaining physical distancing.
This point is due to emphasis because the act of vaccination does not free us yet from these precautions, which till further notice as still as relevant as on the day they were prescribed.
The vaccines Nigeria in Nigeria is tested as safe. Leaders must recommend it to their families and communities as the best protection against the dreaded disease”.
Earlier in his remarks, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib had explained that despite the intensive campaigns 1, 110,820 Nigerians representing 55.2 percent targeted in the first phase have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
He stated that the aim of the town hall meeting was to discuss the Covid-19 vaccine in Nigeria, explore relevant perspectives and reach a consensus that would achieve ongoing efforts by the government to ensure that Nigerians are protected from the disease.
He said: ”today’s town hall meeting is in line with the principles at pro-active Community engagement, transparency, and accountability of the able leadership of Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman and Secretary of the Government of the Federation coming together today as a community of North Central Nigeria, align with it is not enough to offer the vaccine to Nigeria.
“We must do the hard work and provide the resources to ensure that Nigerians are provided with the correct information required decision to about accepting the vaccine”
The Executive Secretary lamented that COVID-19 was received with much apprehension and controversy fueled by the large scale of misconception and disinformation, causing widespread confusion and risk-taking behaviour that were injurious to human health.
Abdullahi Sule, the Nasarawa State governor, announced that the state received 61, 350 doses of Astrazeneca vaccine and had administered the majority to the people in the state.
He said the state government will commence the second phase of the jab in May this year stating that measures were being taken to contain the pandemic.
Sule appealed to the federal government to assist the state to equip the diagnostic centre to meet world standard.