The Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, has revealed that about 80 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will soon be made available in the country, to immunize 40% of the Nigerian population this year.
This is part of the measures aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease, just as he said that another batch of 60 million doses is expected to be delivered in 2022.
According to a press statement by his press secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, this disclosure was made by Fayemi, while delivering a paper titled, ‘The role of Nigeria’s State Governments in Recovery: Responses to Covid-19 linked Challenges,” at the Chatham House, Africa Programme, moderated by Elizabeth Donnelly, Deputy Director and Research Fellow at Chatham House.
While delivering the paper at the virtual conference held via Zoom, the Governor was quoted as saying that the quantity of the vaccines being expected was released by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), at the meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) last week.
Fayemi said that beyond the government’s efforts at the procurement of vaccines, the NGF had been a strong advocate of the use of public-private partnerships in the procurement of vaccines as a measure of closing the gap between what is available and what is necessary, to achieve herd immunity.
Fayemi said that the country had conducted about 1.3 million tests so far, out of which 131,242 persons, or 10% of the samples, tested positive to the virus with a case fatality rate of 1.2%.
He said: “As of today, Nigeria has tested 1.3m persons for COVID-19, with 10% (131,242) of these confirmed positive. Compared with the global and Africa’s Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 2.2% and 2.5% respectively, Nigeria has fared better with a CFR of 1.2%.
“Six States, Lagos, FCT, Plateau, Kaduna, Oyo, and Rivers, have contributed 70% of confirmed cases, with Lagos, the commercial nerve of the country, contributing about 40% of the total burden. Data indicates that men appear to be disproportionately affected, accounting for 69% of the confirmed cases. Most cases occur in people aged 31-40 years.
“We expect that about 80 million doses of vaccines will be made available in 2021 to cover 40 per cent of the population, while another 60 million doses are being planned ahead of 2022.”
On the efforts of government at mitigating the effect of the pandemic on public health and the economy, the governor explained that the private sector, through the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID), had collaborated with the State and Federal governments in raising more than $75 million to provide medical supplies, equipment, isolation and treatment Centres, as well as food for the vulnerable in the society.
This, he said, was in addition to the expansion of laboratory services across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and training of no fewer than 45,000 health workers across the country on infection, prevention and control measures.
The Governor said, “When Nigeria reported its first case in late February 2020, there were only four laboratories in the country that could test for COVID-19. By October 2020, testing capacity had expanded to over 70 laboratories, across the 36 States and the FCT.
“The scale-up of laboratory services was important, given the size of the country and the need to rapidly obtain results for suspected cases. As of December 2020, more than 45,000 health workers have been trained across the country, on infection prevention and control measures,” he said.