By Saturday the 16th of October 2021, there were more than 231 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 4.7 million COVID-19–related deaths across the world, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource centre.
While in Nigeria, the number of confirmed cases was 208,797 and 2,769 deaths, according to information from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.
Lagos the most active and populated city has the highest number of cases. 77,288 reported infections and 664 deaths, as it continues to be the epicentre of the epidemic in Nigeria followed by the Federal Capital Territory, FCT with 22,839 cases and 208 deaths, and Rivers State with 12,431 cases and 154 deaths.
Most recently, the Federal government announced that it was making COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for civil servants as from December 1st. While the number of new Covid cases is decreasing in some states, it is increasing in others.
UNICEF, has said that the vaccines for COVID-19 is a critical measure for helping bring the pandemic under control when combined with effective testing and existing prevention measures.
While Experts agree that vaccination is crucial to ending the pandemic. Towards this end, the Federal government says it has commenced efforts to expand access to vaccination by establishing mass vaccination sites in states across the Federation. The effort is expected to include private health care providers.
According to health experts Nigeria needs to vaccinate a total of 80 million eligible persons or 40 percent of the 200 million population by the end of 2021. The country also has to vaccinate 140 million persons or 70 percent of the population by the end of 2022 in order to achieve herd immunity.
Herd immunity is important because it helps protect the members of a community who may be unable to be vaccinated or who may not produce a strong immune response after vaccination, due to one of the medical conditions known as comorbidities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
But Currently, Nigeria is not on track to attain herd immunity because only around 5.24 million eligible populations in the country have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine while 2.54 million have been fully vaccinated. The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA says the figures represent 4.7 percent and 2.3 percent of the target population respectively. To be on track for herd immunity, must vaccinate over 70 million people between now and 31st December, which as of now doesn’t seem that such a figure will be reached before the end of the year.
According to UNICEF, when enough people in a population are immune, that is at least 70%(herd immunity ) the virus can no longer cause outbreaks, and that community is protected via community immunity.
We should all be aware that getting a COVID-19 vaccine helps protects the person who is vaccinated and helps protect the whole community. The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the risk of contracting the disease.
As COVID-19 vaccination rates are increasing, cases, hospitalisations, and deaths due to COVID-19 are decreasing dramatically in areas that have achieved high vaccination rates.Several Covid-19 vaccines have been rolled out across multiple platforms in Nigeria after they have been certified safe and effective to help stop the devastating spread of COVID-19 infection.
seven COVID-19 vaccines that have received full approval by the World Health Organisation, WHO, and certified for use in Nigeria by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC
These are the Mordena and Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccines, Oxford – AstraZeneca, Covishield Oxford/AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines.It is established that COVID-19 vaccines are saving lives, thus ensuring that more vaccine doses are available has the potential to save more people.