COVID-19 second vaccine uptake dips by 40% in Nigeria
Nigeria is experiencing a 40 per cent drop in the uptake of the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
While over 11 million Nigerians have received the first dose, only about four million people have had their second jab.
Consequently, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has appealed to those who have had their first dose of vaccine to go for the second to check waste of resources.
Available data show that the South South and South East regions have the lowest vaccine up-take, even as Anambra and Enugu states have recorded significant improvement in their vaccination drive.
During a media workshop on COVID-19 vaccination organised by NPHCDA in collaboration with Breakthrough Action, yesterday, in Abuja, the Programme Manager, COVID-19 Crisis Communication Centre, Dr. Binta Bako, observed that though vaccine uptake “is increasing in the country, Nigeria has not reached 50 per cent of its target population,” adding that only 11,514,316 persons out of the 111,776,503 target population have been vaccinated.
She said: “We have a huge gap in uptake of second dose and it may be related to the fact that some people after taking the first dose experienced some side effects, but even when you immunise kids, they feel some form of fever the first two to three days, but we adults are little bit sensitive. As at January 8, 2022, 11,594,316 persons (9.8 per cent) have received first dose; 4,759,637 (4.3 per cent) received second dose and 155,278 given booster dose. So, we are having about 40 per cent drop-out rate, the drop-out for the second dose is on the high side.”
Bako urged Nigerians, who have taken their first dose of the jab, to go for the second, adding that the booster dose “is very important for optimal protection against the virus.”
She observed that Nigeria has clear plans to reach the target of vaccinating 56.8 million (50 per cent) eligible Nigerians by first quarter of this year.
Bako explained that the country was using only Pfizer for the booster dose since December 10, and since January 1, “we started using it as first and second doses.”
She added that Nasarawa and Jigawa states have reached over 50 per cent of their target population.
Also speaking, Director, Communications and Advocacy in NPHCDA, Dr. Eunice Damisa, clarified that the agency had expanded access to vaccines through mass vaccination to tackle hesitancy, stating that this had led to increased coverage.