The Canadian government has donated 2,649,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Nigeria to help check the spread of the virus.
This was disclosed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in a post on its Facebook page.
The Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. James Christoph, handed over the vaccine on behalf of the Canadian government, saying that Canada is committed to supporting Nigeria, and indeed other countries of the world to contain the pandemic. This is as he commended Nigeria for the milestone attained in the ongoing effort to vaccinate her eligible population with the vaccine.
What the NPHCDA is saying
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the executive secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said that the donation of over N100 million from the Canadian High Commission was very important to help the country’s health care sector to ramp up its vaccination program.
According to him, over 40 million people have so far received the first dose of the immunization program, while over 28 million have been vaccinated. He noted that this figure represents about 25.6% of the country’s population.
He said the federal government’s commitment to ensuring that 70% of the country’s eligible population is vaccinated by the end of 2020 is still intact. He also stated that only about 2.6 million of fully vaccinated persons have received their booster doses. He further urged the states to follow up with the implementation of the SCALES 3.0 strategy and ensure that all children and adults are up-to-date.
The executive secretary noted that the implementation of the SCALES 3.0 strategy would allow health facilities to provide additional services related to the immunization program, such as childhood vaccinations. Dr. Shuaib stated that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers a single-dose opportunity for full vaccination, which means if you take one dose of the vaccine, you are regarded as a fully vaccinated person.
However, he strongly recommended a booster dose after two months of taking the initial dose to strengthen the level of immunity against COVID-19. A second dose of J&J vaccine serves as the booster dose.
He thanked everyone for the support on the launch of the SCALES 3.0 vaccine deployment strategy. Each scale is made to counter coming COVID-19 waves.
“We are leveraging on our polio eradication experience to fight COVID-19, and we are sure that with the kind of support we have received from the Canadian government today, and the continued cooperation of our partners and stakeholders, we will, sooner than expected, be able to put COVID-19 behind us in Nigeria,” said Dr. Shuaib.
What you should know
According to the latest NCDC reports as at August 19, there are currently 3,083 active COVID-19 cases and there have been 3,147 deaths since the outbreak.
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