Amidst the detection of the new Omicron variant of Coronavirus in Nigeria, the Federal Government has denied claims that the country has a shortage of the COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens.
Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made this disclosure at the National COVID-19 summit in Abuja on Monday.
Mustapha stated that Nigeria has invested in enough vaccines which can help protect the citizens against the dreaded virus.
The SGF submitted that there are enough vaccines that can be administered to 70% of the country’s population before the end of 2022, adding that the vaccines are effective and safe to use.
According to Mustapha, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country has negatively affected the healthcare system and socio-economic lives of Nigerians.
He, however, asked all unvaccinated persons to get the jab and continue to observe the necessary preventive COVID-19 measures.
He said: “Today, we are here to assess the level of impact of our national response and develop strategies as we push through the last mile to end the pandemic while we build back better.
“There is no gainsaying that the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, which was triggered when the index case was confirmed on the 27th of February 2020, precipitated significant disruptions to the healthcare system and socio-economic lives of Nigerians.
”Due to the evolving dynamics of COVID-19 pandemic with progressive mutations of the virus to more transmissible and deadly variants, the international community has corroborated the insinuation that the pandemic will persist for few more years.
“This understanding has impelled world leaders recently to come to a conclusion that if efforts are not renewed and aggressive measures are not taken, COVID-19 pandemic will continue to ravage humanity well longer than earlier envisaged. Hence the need to adopt an ambitious (but cautious) agenda to end the COVID-19 pandemic by the year 2022.
“Nigeria has invested in enough vaccines that can cover over 70% of our population before the end of 2022. These vaccines are safe and efficacious, hence it is better and safer to be vaccinated against this virus, now.”
Mustapha said the summit was to create the opportunity to identify successes, gaps and lessons learnt so far in Nigeria’s national response to the pandemic since March 2020 to date.
He added that the summit is also aimed at developing strategies to actualise the international commitments towards ending COVID-19 before the end of 2022.
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