The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, has confirmed that not less than 2,000 Nigerians have so far died from COVID-19 complications since its outbreak, which amounted to over 90 per cent of deaths recorded from the pandemic in Nigeria from unvaccinated persons.
Ehanire, who made the disclosure at the South-South zonal town hall meeting on COVID-19 vaccination in Benin, the Edo State capital, on Saturday, said that official figures have shown that 2,671 fatalities have been recorded in the country since the index case of the infection was detected in February, 2020.
The town hall meeting was organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the Edo State government.
While enumerating the effects of the Coronavirus on the nation, the Minister said the pandemic also caused a downturn of Nigeria’s economy as the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) took a nosedive during the period.
According to him, the government needs to vaccinate 70 per cent of the population to effectively curb the spread of the virus.
“The way out of this is to get vaccinated because those who have taken the vaccine have full protection while the unvaccinated are exposed to danger,” Ehanire said.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, noted that out of the 4,680,000 vaccinated Nigerians, about 1,865,127 were fully vaccinated with the two doses.
“I will like to encourage us to use our good offices to encourage eligible members of our community to visit the nearest designated health facility to receive the vaccine.
“All the vaccines are currently available in designated vaccination sites across the country and are safe and effective,” he said.
“NPHCDA plans to gradually involve the private sector as sites for COVID-19 vaccination.
“The federal government has set up a Joint Task Force on COVID-19 vaccine for monitoring and accountability in collaboration with the security agencies,” Shuaib said.
Also speaking, the Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Osaigbovo Iyokha, said the state has so far vaccinated over 130,000 residents against the virus, with its target being the vaccination of 60 per cent of the population.
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