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Nigeria set to miss WHO’s month-end virus vaccination target

Africa’s largest economy is likely to miss the goal set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to vaccinate 10 percent of its most vulnerable population against COVID-19 by the end of September.

Nigeria has only been able to fully vaccinate 1.44 million people which is equivalent to 0.7 percent of the entire populace, according to WHO data. It has taken Africa’s most populous nation five months to achieve this.

Data from the WHO also shows that at the current inoculations and vaccine delivery rate, 41 other African countries will miss the goal set by the World Health Assembly in May.

“As long as vaccination rates are low, the risks of severe illness and deaths remain high,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Director for Africa, during a weekly virtual briefing on Thursday. “Only 39 million people, less than 3% of Africa’s population are fully vaccinated compared to more than 50% in Europe and the U.S.”

Read also: FG plans compulsory Covid-19 vaccination for federal workers

To date nine nations, including Seychelles, Morocco and South Africa, have exceeded the 10% target. Senegal, Namibia and Botswana are among the handful of other countries that could still reach the target if they speed up vaccinations.

“Vaccine hoarding has held Africa back and we urgently need more vaccines, but as more doses arrive, African countries must zero in and drive forward precise plans to rapidly vaccinate the millions of people that still face a grave threat from Covid-19,” Moeti said.

According to the Federal Ministry of Health, there have been 191,805 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,455 deaths, reported to WHO. While there is an increase in the upsurge of different covid 19 variants, the vaccination of a larger percentage is imperative.

Nigeria aims to inoculate 40 percent of its 200 million people by the end of 2021 and 70 percent by 20

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