About two months after it rolled out one of Africa’s largest COVID-19 vaccination programme, Nigeria has administered only 1.2 million vaccine shots, less than two per cent of a target it set for the end of the year.
To achieve herd immunity against COVID-19, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.
“About 70 per cent of the total population needs to receive the COVID-19 vaccines to completely eradicate the virus,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib said in January ahead of the vaccine rollout.
Mr Shuaib said about 40 per cent will be vaccinated in 2021, while the remaining 30 per cent will be covered in 2022.
To vaccinate 40 per cent of Nigeria’s 200 million citizens means 80 million people would have received their full doses by the end of the year.
But with only 1.2 million vaccinated two months into the campaign, Nigeria needs to vaccinate about 78.8 million people in the remaining seven months of 2021. Also, most of those already vaccinated are yet to get their second shots.
Health experts say the rate at which the vaccines are administered is a “drop in the ocean” and will do little towards reaching the 80 million target for this year.
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