Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Kaduna top chart as 374,585 get jabs

Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi and Kaduna states are leading the chart across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory as the number of persons immunised against COVID-19 in Nigeria hit 374,585.

The figure compiled from the Electronic Management of Immunisation Data System Dashboard, showed that Lagos – the epicentre of the pandemic – had the highest vaccination figure of 91,857.

Ogun State came second on the chart with 36,953. While Bauchi had vaccinated 31,321 persons, 29, 426 had received the jab in Kaduna State.

Others are Jigawa – 22,420; Katsina – 20,162; Kwara – 20,060; Federal Capital Territory – 13,873; Osun – 12,597; Adamawa – 11,934; Yobe – 10,421; Nasarawa – 9,983; Kano – 9,780; Ondo – 9,612; and Edo – 7,380 among others.

The figures were contained in a document prepared by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

According to the report, only Kogi State had yet to start vaccination as of Friday while Kebbi and Taraba recorded one each.

Nigeria had on March 2 received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility.

Meanwhile, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has said that at least 72 per cent Nigerians are ready to accept the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is just as the International Criminal Police Organisation and the United States’ Homeland Security Investigations warned the public against purchasing purported COVID-19 vaccines online.

Africa-CDC in a statement on Friday said the statistics were part of the findings of a report released by the Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19 Consortium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

It revealed levels of acceptability in other countries as follows: Nigeria (72 per cent), South Africa (61 per cent), Zimbabwe (61 per cent), Zambia (53 per cent).

Others are Mozambique (75 per cent), Egypt (78 per cent), Kenya (59 per cent), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (52 per cent).

The report also noted that generally, two-thirds of Africans interviewed expressed willingness to accept COVID-19 vaccines, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

The consortium was made up of public health organisations including the Diseases Control and Prevention; Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies; and the World Health Organisation.

Dr Emmanuel Agogo, the Nigeria Country Representative of Resolve to Save Lives, outlined the reasons for vaccine hesitancy identified in the research.

Agogo said some of the reasons were the lack of enough information on the vaccine, negative and unsubstantiated reports on the adverse effects of the vaccine, among others.

He urged the media to take responsibility for enlightening audiences.

He further encouraged journalists not to be sensational in reporting on vaccines since many myths were perpetuated; they should instead distribute reliable and accurate information.

Also, Communication Officer of the Africa CDC, Nekerwon Gweh, recommended that African countries should continue the rollout of the vaccine.

The centre gave the recommendation during a webinar hosted by the Africa CDC, public strategy firm, Gatefield, and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, to engage journalists on the issue of COVID-19 vaccines safety, effectiveness and distribution.

An expert panel of journalists shared their experiences covering vaccines at the event and advocated more responsible reporting on the subject.

Meanwhile, with criminal groups producing, distributing and selling fake vaccines, INTERPOL and HSI said the risks to the public could include buying products which did not protect against COVID-19 and posed a serious health hazard if ingested or injected.

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