The Head of the EU delegation to Nigeria
The Ambassador of Italy to Nigeria
The Country Representative of WHO and UNICEF
Directors and Staff of NPHCDA,
Members of the Press
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
- Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and thank you for joining us to receive, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, the three million two thousand four hundred (3,002,400) doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines donated by the Government of Italy.
- You would recall that in February, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Ministry of Health and NPHCDA formally rolled out the administration of the J&J vaccine across the country. I must say that this has rapidly improved our coverage.
- I want to appreciate the Government of Italy for these donations which are in line with the global call for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. It is also a reflection of the sincerity and commitment of the Government of Italy and European delegates to the global efforts in halting this pandemic for nations of the world to return to their normal way of life.
- Let me assure you Your Excellencies, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, that these vaccines, like all other vaccines we have in-country, will be judiciously utilized, as we have instituted accountability in the COVID-19 vaccination program to ensure efficient use of all available resources.
- Also, let me reiterate the fact that we have an adequate quantity of COVID-19 vaccines across all states for every eligible person in Nigeria. And to assure all Nigerians, our donors, and partners, that we are committed to equitable and effective COVID-19 vaccination. I, therefore, urge all persons aged 18 years and above including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers to take advantage of the availability of these vaccines to get vaccinated. All COVID-19 vaccines in Nigeria are free, safe, effective, and protect you, your family, and your community against COVID-19.
- As of today the 11th of April 2022, we have fully vaccinated 13,588,718 persons which are approximately 12.2% of our total eligible population. Meanwhile, 23,012,700 Nigerians have received their first dose which represents 18% of the total eligible population. We have also intensified our technical support to the states to ramp up the vaccination coverage. We are currently supporting the states to finalize their micro plans which we believe will further strengthen accountability in the utilization and management of available resources and increase uptake based on locally acceptable methods and standards
- To ensure we fully utilize the COVID-19 vaccination program in strengthening the primary health care system by using routine immunization as an entry point, our current strategic approach for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, known as the optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy, entails the integration of COVID-19 Vaccines with our current implementation. This means that parents and caregivers with children or Wards aged zero to two years are encouraged to bring their children along to the COVID-19 vaccination site where childhood vaccines are available. While the adult receives COVID-19 vaccines, the children are assessed for the antigen they are due for and vaccinated. Thus, making the vaccination exercise more family-friendly. We believe this will further motivate eligible persons, including pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- We are proud of the work our frontline health workers are doing. We are also proud of the work our developmental partners and donors are doing.
- I want to use this opportunity to appreciate the proactive leadership of President Muhammad Buhari for establishing the Presidential steering Committee which has implemented a comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the sterling leadership of the SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who have been very key in translating the vision of Mr. President into action.
- Once again, I urge all eligible Nigerians who are yet to be vaccinated or who are due for their second or booster dose to please avail themselves of current opportunities to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.
- I thank you for listening and God bless you all.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib