Nearly four (4) million COVID-19 vaccine has been utilized in Nigeria from March till date, UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins has said.
While adding that, Nigeria is taking the lead in Africa among the COVAX countries, saying, out of the 3.924 million doses of vaccines, over 80,000 has been used by Nigerians.
Hawkins also revealed that, within the next two years, malaria vaccine will be adopted.
He made this known at a meeting on COVID-19 Vaccination of NPHCDA and Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on PHC, in Abuja.
He urged traditional leaders to prevail on their communities to key into taking COVID-19, Hawkins said the risk in taking the vaccine is minimal compare to the risk of not talking to vaccine.
He said the vaccine is safe and effective as no death has been recorded in Nigeria of the four million persons that has taken the vaccine, ” The risk is extremely low, one in a million “, saying the vaccine prevent against severe cases as well as death to COVID-19.
Also, the Chairman Northern Traditional Leaders
Committee on Immunization and Primary Health Care, His Highness Alhaji Samaila Muhammad Mera CON, Emir of Argungu said , NTLC will continue to put our best efforts to support all initiatives and programmes of the Federal Government within the scope of the objectives of the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Immunization and Primary
We suggest that the NPHCDA and PTF on COVID-19 should take advantage of the availability of such images of community influencers across the board to motivate the general population to accept the vaccine. Using bill boards and recorded messages and testimonies of experiences from these important individuals will go along way to address and
counter negative messages on the disease and safety of the vaccine.
“We are aware of funding challenges for the effective engagement of traditional and religious leaders on these issues, but as leaders deeply
concerned with welfare of our people, I assure the ED and all partners present
here today on behalf of His Eminence that, we would continue to do our
utmost best to support all health and related programmes of the Federal 3
“We commend and appreciate the efforts of UNICEF Nigeria
office for the good working relationship we enjoy with you and your various
state representatives that consult and engage with us for effective mass mobilization and education of our people, which is critical to our mandate”.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib said there have been reports of cases of vaccine hesitancy across the States and one of the community engagement strategies we have initiated to mitigate this challenge is the conduct of Town Hall Meetings to address concerns of the public and increase uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine. This is to improve community knowledge of the facts and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination and to enhance community ownership and participation in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
The Town Hall Meetings are to be conducted at four levels – Zonal, State, LGA, and Ward levels. Already, the Zonal level Town Hall meetings have been conducted successfully in North Central Zone, (Nasarawa State) and North East Zone, (Adamawa State). The northwest Zonal meeting was earlier scheduled for 1st July but has to be postponed due to preparation for the coronation of Emir of Kano. We would therefore be counting on your usual support to States to ensure they cascade the Town Hall meetings to the subnational levels.
” I am optimistic that with your concerted support in promoting COVID-19 vaccination in and outside your domain, Nigeria will rapidly achieve hard immunity so we can all return to our normal way of life”.