Nigeria has administered at least 70.9 million doses of COVID vaccines so far, with 33.9 million people fully vaccinate making it about 16.4% of the country’s population.
This was made known by Mr. Tobias P.P Choji, Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist, National Veterinary Research Institute (NVIR), when Implementing Partner of CITAD/MacArthur Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Public Awareness Project, Comrade Friday Bako, held a town hall meeting in Barkin Ladi LGA with youth influencers drawn from Bokkos, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi LGAs of Plateau state.
The Chief Medical Laboratory Scientist said that there is need for continuous sensitization of people because the Covid-19 virus remains an emerging and reemerging diseases (diseases that reappear after they have been on a significant decline).
“The Covid-19 Virus came to revolutionize the entire health care system as such we need to prepare continuously and use every opportunity to educate people on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines to increase ‘herd immunity’. He said
In allaying the fears of participants who were yet to be vaccinated, Mr. Tobias said “the Covid-19 Vaccines have passed through all required safety trial stages including the approval of the authorized bodies as such it was safe for public administration.
Making his remarks, Comr Friday Bako, Implementing Partner of CITAD/MacArthur Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Public Awareness Project, said that the youth influencers were strategically selected, to be ambassadors after the meeting and to be able to take such awareness to their various communities.
He urged participants at the town hall meeting to talk to others about the safety and effectiveness of the covid-19 Vaccines so as to increase the vaccine uptake in the state as the only alternative to curb the dreaded covid-19 virus.
Comr Bako further stated that the town hall is the 4th in the series of continuous awareness to deepen engagement and understanding of the various persons who have been victims of the misinformation and various conspiracy theories about COVID-19, as it forms one of the main reasons for the slow uptake of the vaccines.
Many of the participants assented to become advocates for correcting some of the wrong perceptions that are contributing to the slow uptake of the covid-19 vaccines, with most of those who have not taken the vaccine saying they will go and get the vaccines immediately.
The town hall meeting was in tandem with the project activities for Covid-19 Vaccine Public Awareness, Vaccines safety and effectiveness by Friday Bako with support from the MacArthur Foundation and the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD).