As its contribution to Nigeria’s efforts in ramping up COVID-19, vaccination roll out process, the Canadian government yesterday, donated over two million doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to the country.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib who received the vaccines unbehalf of the federal government Thursday in Abuja said the donation was critical in helping Nigeria ramp up COVID-19 vaccination roll out process, while commending Canadian government for the gesture.
He said Nigeria ones received the COVID-19 vaccines from Canadian government and specially welcomed the Canadian High Commissioner on his first event to Nigeria.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Canadian government has donated 2,649,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria. We are here today to mark the official handover of this donation to Nigeria by the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Jamie Christoff.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I want to sincerely thank the Government of Canada for providing this much-needed support. This donation is critical to helping Nigeria ramp up her vaccination roll out process.
“Johnson & Johnson 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, we strongly recommend a booster dose after 2 months of taking the initial dose to strengthen your level of immunity against COVID-19. A second dose of J&J vaccine serves as the booster dose.
“May I use this opportunity to thank everyone for your support on the launch of our SCALES 3.0 vaccine deployment strategy. As we all know, we are in a full campaign mode in which COVID-19 vaccines are not only readily made available in the health facilities and other designated places, but also brought by our vaccination teams to your door steps! We are leveraging on our polio eradication experience to fight COVID-19, and we are pretty 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.
“Our SCALES 3.0 also offers opportunity for childhood vaccination and other PHC services for clients alongside the COVID-19 vaccination. What this simply means is that parents can take their eligible children for vaccination against polio, yellow fever, measles and other vaccine preventable childhood diseases in the same locations where the adults receive COVID-19 vaccines. Our mobile teams are also in possession of all these vaccines when they visit your homes. Please welcome them and present yourselves and your eligible children for vaccination as may be applicable.
“The recent MIC/NIC survey results show that despite the pandemic, Nigeria is only one of the few countries globally that recorded improved immunization coverage. I would like to thank parents and guidance who continued to take their children for vaccination even with the difficulties and challenges faced during the lockdown and limited access to health facilities.
“As at today, Thursday August 18th 2022, 40,700,979 of our eligible population have received the first dose while 28,659,698 persons have been fully vaccinated, this represents 25.6% of the eligible population. 2,666,830 of the fully vaccinated persons have received their booster doses.
“We enjoin the states to step up actions to flag off the SCALES 3.0 strategy and follow with intensive actions to ensure that every eligible adult and child are vaccinated. The federal government has designed a performance-based incentive to improve uptake of COVID-19 vaccines and other PHC services in the states and the communities. It is our hope that Nigeria and the rest of the world will overcome COVID-19 pandemic and recover rapidly from its social and economic adversities.
“May I once again, on behalf of the Chairman of the Presidential steering Committee, the Honourable Minister of Health, Management and Staff of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, thank the government and people of Canada, as I acknowledge receipt of your donation of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to our country.
“I thank you all most sincerely for finding the time to witness this important occasion.
Speaking earlier, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Jamie Christoff commended the NPHCDA and the federal government for the efforts so far in ensuring that the virus is chased out of the country.
He assured the assistance of Canadian government in the fight against the dreaded virus in the country.
On his part, the Chief of health, United Nation’s Fund UNICEF, Nigeria, Eduardo celades said Nigeria has taken a lead in the fight against the pandemic in Africa, while commending the federal government for the giant stride.