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Nigeria Vaccinates 3.6 Million Citizens Against Covid-19

Nigeria’s federal government on Tuesday put the total number of eligible Nigerians that have so far received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at 3,600,858. Also, the government has explained

Nigeria’s federal government on Tuesday put the total number of eligible Nigerians that have so far received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at 3,600,858.

Also, the government has explained the reason Nigerians who have been fully vaccinated are still required to isolate upon arrival in the United Kingdom is because the country was yet to meet criteria such as the percentage of population immunised and incidence rates of Covid-19 infection.

Speaking during a weekly press briefing on the progress of phase 2 Covid-19 vaccination rollout in Abuja, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said that as a mark of diplomatic reciprocity, Nigeria also require fully vaccinated UK citizens to isolate for seven days.

He said Nigeria alongside countries such as France and the Netherlands were listed as amber countries by the UK government based on criteria such as the number of population immunised and incidence rates of COVID-19 infection.

“We have been inundated with questions about why the UK insists Nigerians who have been fully vaccinated are still required to isolate upon arrival in the UK.

“The reason is quite simple. We in Nigeria also require fully vaccinated UK citizens to isolate for seven days despite being fully vaccinated.

“In diplomatic circles, this is often referred to as the principle of reciprocity. Nigeria alongside countries like France and the Netherlands are listed as amber countries by the UK Government based on criteria such as the number of populations immunised and incidence rates of Covid-19 infection. “Individuals from countries listed as amber countries are required by the UK Government to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and be quarantined for a few days,” he said.

Shuaib further said regardless of a vaccine type or vaccination status, if a Nigerian with a Nigerian passport travels to a country on their green list and spends 14 days there before going to the UK, they would not be quarantined in the UK.

“Likewise, if a German or Australian that is currently from their green listed country travels to a country like France, Ghana or Italy which is on their amber list like Nigeria, and such an individual spends 14 days or more in these countries before departing to the UK, such an individual would be made to do a Covid-19 test and quarantined, regardless of their vaccination status.

“Just like Nigeria, every country has its own Covid-19 travel rules, protocols and guidelines for travellers coming from other Countries. So, this should be a motivation for all eligible Nigerians to get vaccinated, in order for us to increase our population coverage and return back to normalcy,” he said.

While giving update on the progress so far made on phase 2 Covid-19 vaccination with Moderna and AstraZeneca, he said the exercise has now fully commenced in all the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

He said: “As at September 6 2021, a total of 3,600,858 eligible Nigerians have so far received their first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. This is made up of 2,551,738 persons vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,049,120 persons vaccinated with Moderna vaccine.

“Therefore, 1,576,011 persons have been fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine. We have now restarted the administration of AstraZeneca as first dose in all designated health facilities. “The decision to re-open AstraZeneca for first dose administration is hinged on the fact that we received an additional 1,394,480 doses of vaccines through the COVAX facility,” he said.

Shuaib also spoke on vaccine supply, saying that Nigeria received 1,123,200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine last Saturday, through the AVATT platform, coordinated by the African Union Commission, as part of the 39,800,000 doses procured by the federal government of Nigeria.

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

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