The Nigerian government hopes to have vaccinated 40 percent of its population by the end of the year, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has said.
The task force also said it is targeting to have vaccinated 70 percent of the population by 2022.
According to Dr. Mukhtar Muhammad, National Incident Manager, PTF on COVID-19, health care workers will be the first set to get vaccinated against the virus.
“Health workers are the ones that are most at risk. When people are sick the first place they go to is the hospital and, therefore, people with COVID-19 also will do the same thing. Health workers, when they are not protected, they are the first people to get infected,” Muhammad said.
“It is even a double jeopardy because if health workers become infected, it means more people will get infected without having to get treatment because people who will take care of them are infected.”
Muhammad added that individuals working at health facilities and points of entry or are involved in the nation’s COVID-19 rapid response will also be among the first group to receive the vaccine.
The announcement came a day after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that six more cases of the UK variant of the coronavirus had been confirmed in the country.
“The B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in UK has now been identified in six more COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. While we strengthen our genomic surveillance capacity with partners to inform our response, non-pharmaceutical interventions remain effective to limit spread,” the director general of the NCDC Chikwe Ihekweazu said.
As of February 2, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, had reported 133,552 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,613 deaths.