Nigeria will restart COVID-19 inoculations on Monday, August 16 after taking delivery of 4 million doses of Moderna vaccine, with shipments of Johnson & Johnson shots also due imminently, Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency said.
The nation has so far vaccinated only a tiny fraction of its population of 200 million, largely due to a lack of supply. The latest data, in June, showed that 2 million people had received one dose and 700,000 had received two.
The rollout of vaccines was halted on Friday, July 9 because supplies had run out.
The Moderna doses, which arrived in the country from the United States last week, were being prepared for rollout, said Shuaib.
He stressed while briefing newsmen that the labels with barcodes were being prepared that would allow for efficient record-keeping of administered doses.
“We want to call on all Nigerians to remain assured that the vaccines that we have are safe and will be deployed next week,” Shuaib told reporters.
It can be recalled that the Ekiti State Government on Tuesday, August 10, announced new measures to contain the increasing cases of the COVID-19 pandemic across all the 16 local governments areas of the state.
Reports have it that this is the third time the state government would be imposing such restrictions between 2020 and August 2021.
The restrictions had in the past paralysed businesses and reduced social activities in government offices.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who made the announcement after an emergency briefing, anchored on his behalf by the Commissioner for Health, Oyebanji Filani, expressed concerns over the increasing cases of the third wave of the pandemic in the state while addressing newsmen in Ado-Ekiti the state capital of Ekiti state, southwest Nigeria.
Justifying the state government’s latest action, Governor Fayemi said that 180 cases were recorded from July to the first few days in August alone.
He explained that as a way of curtailing the third wave, restrictions had been re-imposed on social, religious and political gatherings across the state. He also directed transporters to reduce the number of their passengers by half.
Since the start of the pandemic, Nigeria has recorded about 175,000 cases of COVID-19 and over 2,000 deaths, but the real figures could be much higher as testing is patchy.
The highly contagious Delta variant has recently been detected in the country and authorities have warned infections are rising.
Image form REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde