The World Health Organization (WHO) attests one million COVID-19 deaths in 2022, stating that the overall record of COVID-19 deaths since its first detection in China, in 2019, is over 6 million. Based on a report by Daily Mail UK, pandemic tracking analysts disclosed countries with majority fatalities that have been logged so far. The highest is the United States with 217,627 deaths; Russia comes second with 72,556 fatalities; Brazil has also recorded over 63,000 deaths; while India has recorded about 45,700 deaths.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, said that with the occurrence of tens of thousands of deaths, it is impossible for the world to claim that it is learning to live with COVID-19, notwithstanding the possession of all the tools required for the prevention of the disease. The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also recently revealed that out of Nigeria’s 215 million population, about 5,442,162 persons have been tested, with 263,300 confirmed cases. However, there has only been a record of about 3,100 deaths.
Misconception on vaccination challenges in Nigeria.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, warning concerning the mutation of the virus, mentioned how dangerous and deadly it is, although the impressive records of declining deaths in the country, due to ongoing vaccinations. At the award ceremony to commemorate the 2022 African Vaccination Week in Abuja, Nasarawa was awarded the overall best in COVID-19 vaccination across the country, Ebonyi was also awarded the prize for routine immunization, having a total of 90 percent coverage score.
Likewise, Ogun State and Lagos State emerged best performing state on vaccination and best performing state on routine immunization in the South West region respectively. The SGF, Mustapha, in his observation at the award ceremony mentioned how challenging it has been over the years, to overcome the misconceptions on vaccination, despite several meetings, organized by the federal government of Nigeria with stakeholders and partners across the country to convince Nigerians to aid the promotion of vaccine uptake.
Nigeria has vaccinated 40M of its population.
Despite all odds, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, affirmed that Nigeria, with respect to its innovative strategies concerning the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, now ranks one of the high-performing countries in the world. In his words, the country has successfully vaccinated over 40 million persons, that is 30 percent of its population, against the COVID-19 disease. The percentage of vaccinated Nigerians is insufficient, therefore, the government would put more efforts to ensure the vaccination of more Nigerians.
The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, during an oversight to the agency’s facilities and COVID-19 laboratory projects in Lagos also avouched to make Nigeria-produced vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, of internationally acceptable standard. She added that the pharmaceutical industry of Nigeria should take advantage of the ownership of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement through quality products, as it will strengthen NAFDAC’s laboratory, making it easier to compete favorably.
NAFDAC assures that Nigeria can now produce it’s own vaccines.
Adeyeye ascertained that with the World Health Organization (WHO) Maturity Level 3 certification, Nigeria can hopefully produce her own vaccines with full assurance of its quality to the populace as a result of NAFDAC’s strength. The Chairman of the House Committee on COVID-19, Dr Haruna Mshelia, said that the equipment is ready in the laboratories and awaiting installation. He therefore encouraged other agencies to learn from NAFDAC how they are implementing ICT for the progress of the organization and the nation.