Nigeria said it has ended the first phase of Covid-19 vaccination exercise as Lagos State shut down all the vaccination centres in compliance with the directive of the federal government.
Lagos alone has vaccinated about 257, 756 persons up till April 15, 2021, according to its commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, who claimed the state has come out of the 2nd wave of the pandemic successfully.
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) had directed States to halt the vaccination exercise after administering half of the doses supplied to them to give opportunity for the second dose of the already vaccinated persons.
The first phase of the exercise which began in Lagos on March 12, 2021, took an average of 20 days.
Abayomi, a professor said in a statement that the completed exercise would ensure that at least 1 percent of Lagos residents receive the full complement of doses required to enable the protection the vaccine promises.
He said the target to achieve effective herd immunity was the vaccination of at least 60 percent of the Lagos State population.
The State Commissioner for Health said the exercise ended on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, and consequently, the government has shut down its entire vaccination centres.
With the number vaccinated in Lagos so far, the state has overshot half of the 507,000 doses allocated to it.
It could be recalled that Lagos State received 507,000 doses of the 3.92 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine facilitated through the COVAX Facility to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Lagos State inoculated 257,756 persons, as of the 15th of April 2021, consisting of health workers, frontline workers including; security agents, ports of entry staff, judiciary, petrol station workers, contingency workers and strategic leaders.
“The government went a step further to vaccinate willing pensioners, people aged 70 and above, teachers and journalists during the same period. Lagos is the only state that has inoculated more than 200,000 residents during this period.”
Abayomi said the remaining doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been reserved at the Lagos State Cold Chain Store for the 2nd dose exercise, which would commence on the 28th of May, 2021, following the expiration of the 8-12 weeks interval as required by the manufacturers.
He encouraged Lagosians to check their vaccination cards for their next appointment dates and where possible to try to go to the same health facilities where they got their initial dose for their second dose.
“There is no need for citizens who have received the first dose to pre-register before going to the health facility for the second dose because their already captured details will only be updated with additional information after vaccination.
“The vaccines are due to expire on 9th July 2021. Our monitoring and evaluation quality assurance activity indicate that our cold chain distribution logistics has been maintained ensuring the integrity of the vaccines.
“As previously stipulated and according to the strategy of the Federal Government through the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, the COVID-19 vaccinations will be in four phases.
“Phase two will cover persons aged 50 years and above as well as those living with co-morbidities who are between 18-49 years of age.
“Phase three will be activated thereafter for people in the LGAs with the highest infections of the disease and those who missed phases one and two.
“Phase four will cover other eligible populations as more vaccines become available. The date of commencement of the Phase Two vaccination will be announced by the Federal Government in due course,” Abayomi stated.