Nigeria seeks UK collaboration on COVID-19 vaccination

The Federal Government has sought collaboration with the United Kingdom in its drive to vaccinate 70 percent of its eligible population in achieving the herd immunity.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha made the disclosure when the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Gill Atkinson, and her team on a courtesy visit to his Office.

SGF said that the country has received about 4 million Covid-19 vaccine and is currently vaccinating about 2 million eligible Nigerians which only covers 1 percent on completion of the second dose of the country’s population.

He added that unless the United Kingdom comes to its aid, the nation may not be able to vaccinate its 70 percent population as expected.

In his words:

“..and that 2 million is one percent of our population. Assuming we work with the figure of 200 million people, that figure is not in the position to take us near herd immunity.

“We need to vaccinate 70 percent of our population before we begin to talk about having the benefit of getting to herd immunity. That being the case the clear indication is that Nigeria is still in the danger zone.

“The chances of mass community transmission is still there. Because by the time we complete the first phase of this vaccination, only one percent of the population would have been fully vaccinated; and this is where we need your support because our initial schedule was that we try as much as possible to vaccinate through the support of the Covax and Avax facilities to vaccinate at least 40 percent in 2021 and 30 percent in 2022.

He said the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has shown commitment in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic as he has approved the establishment of oxygen plants in all the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) preparatory to the expected third wave.

Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, solicited for the support of the Government of the United Kingdom to come to Nigeria’s aid in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that countries that have surplus consignment of Covid-19 vaccine should be ready share with other developing countries.

The Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson, assured the Federal Government that the United Kingdom is ready to support her in its national vaccination campaign to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. She further said that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, would be hosting the G-7 Summit where he would be making commitment to Nigeria and other nations toward the fight against the pandemic.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPCDA) has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment in vaccinating eligible Nigerians as efforts are underway to fully vaccinate 2 million Nigerians.

He said the global shortage of vaccine supply has affected the country and sought the support of the Europe and United Nations so as to vaccinate its 70 percent population.

He also sought the support of the United Kingdom to facilitate the grant of waiver to Nigeria to produce Covid-19 Vaccine and to also give her infrastructural support in achieving this feat.

Willie Bassey
Director (Information)
Office of the Secretary to the Government
27th May, 2021

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