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Nigeria surpasses 10% COVID-19 vaccination milestone – Gavi

07 Jul 2022, 09:53 am
Financial Nigeria
Nigeria surpasses 10% COVID-19 vaccination milestone – Gavi

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Nigeria started COVID-19 vaccination on the 5th of March 2021, upon receiving four million vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility.

Covid-19 vaccine

Gavi, a global public-private partnership for vaccination, announced today that Nigeria has fully vaccinated more than 10 percent of its total population against COVID-19. According to the organisation, otherwise referred to as the Vaccine Alliance, the country crossed the 10 percent full COVID-19 vaccination milestone last week, noting that it is a commendable progress in curbing vaccine inequity and protecting lives.

In a statement sent to Financial Nigeria, Gavi said the achievement of the milestone is a result of continued efforts by the government and stakeholders in rolling out relevant strategies to sustain COVID-19 vaccination amidst competing health priorities.

Nigeria started COVID-19 vaccination on the 5th of March 2021, upon receiving four million vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility, to protect frontline workers and elderly people with chronic health conditions. COVAX is the major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria and the African continent. Gavi leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX.

The country’s vaccination efforts have been characterized by several strategies undertaken in partnership with stakeholders – including campaigns for awareness, mass vaccination sites, incorporating COVID-19 vaccination in routine immunisation campaigns as well as innovative approaches such as introduction of a vaccination sites finder app.

According to the statement, efforts by the Federal Ministry of Health and partners have strengthened the country’s health systems over recent years, allowing for gradual increase in COVID-19 vaccination while at the same time maintaining routine immunization as part of the Optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) recently launched the SCALES 3.0 strategy to further increase coverage going forward through additional campaigns, including integrated campaigns with other vaccines.

“Nigeria has surpassed 10% of its population with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. This milestone is hugely significant given the size of the country, population and competing health priorities including routine immunization,” said Dr. Richard Mihigo, Director of COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery, Coordination and Integration at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX. “The Optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy has been key to ensuring rapid and sustainable improvement in routine immunization coverage and integration of COVID-19 vaccination. The country has also increased number of vaccination and immunization sites across the country as well as included private health facilities in vaccine rollout.”

He added that through the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, Gavi, UNICEF and WHO, along with partners such as the African Union and World Bank are providing coordinated, tailored support to governments focusing on urgently overcoming delivery bottlenecks to turn vaccines into vaccinations. COVAX, he said, will continue to support efforts in Nigeria and across the continent. “With enough supply available, we must seize this opportunity to achieve vaccine equity,” said Dr. Mihigo.

According to the WHO COVID-19 Dashboard, in January 2022, 34 countries were below 10% coverage with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. That number has now reduced to 14. Over 632 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to the African continent, supporting vaccination efforts in 46 countries. In total, COVAX has now shipped over 1.56 billion COVID-19 vaccines to 146 countries across the world. Nearly 90% of these have been fully funded doses delivered to lower-income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

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