Last week, Nigeria surpassed the 10 percent (of the total population) fully vaccinated Covid-19 vaccination milestone* – commendable progress in curbing vaccine inequity and protecting lives.
The milestone is a result of continued efforts by the government and stakeholders in rolling out relevant strategies to sustain COVID-19 vaccination amidst competing health priorities.
Nigeria started COVID-19 vaccination on 5th March 2021, upon receiving 4 million vaccine doses from the COVAX Facility, to protect frontline workers and elderly people with chronic health conditions. COVAX is the major supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria and the African continent.
The country’s vaccination efforts have been characterized by several strategies undertaken in partnership with stakeholders – including campaigns for awareness, mass vaccination sites, incorporation of COVID-19 vaccination in routine immunisation campaigns as well as innovative approaches such as the introduction of a vaccination sites finder app.
Thanks to the efforts by the Federal Ministry of Health and partners, the country has strengthened health systems over recent years allowing for the gradual increase in COVID-19 vaccination while at the same time maintaining routine immunization as part of the Optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) recently launched the SCALES 3.0 strategy to further increase coverage going forward through additional campaigns, including integrated campaigns with other vaccines.
Dr. Richard Mihigo, Director of COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery, Coordination and Integration at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which leads on procurement and delivery at scale for COVAX, comments on Nigeria’s progress:
“Nigeria has surpassed 10% of its population with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. This milestone is hugely significant given the size of the country, population, and competing for health priorities including routine immunization.
The Optimized SCALES 2.0 strategy has been key to ensuring rapid and sustainable improvement in routine immunization coverage and integration of COVID-19 vaccination. The country has also increased the number of vaccination and immunization sites across the country as well as included private health facilities in the vaccine rollout.
Through the COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery Partnership, Gavi, UNICEF, and WHO, along with partners such as the African Union and World Bank are providing coordinated, tailored support to governments focusing on urgently overcoming delivery bottlenecks to turn vaccines into vaccinations. COVAX will continue to support efforts in Nigeria and across the continent – with enough supply available, we must seize this opportunity to achieve vaccine equity.
We congratulate the country for the commitment and innovation and look forward to continuing working together to protect the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from COVID-19.”
Facts and Figures:
- In January 2022, 34 countries were below 10% coverage with two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. With Nigeria’s milestone today, that number is 14.
- Over 632 million doses have been delivered by COVAX to the African continent, supporting vaccination efforts in 46 countries.
- In total, COVAX has now shipped over 1.56 billion COVID-19 vaccines to 146 countries across the world. Nearly 90% of these have been fully funded doses delivered to lower-income countries supported by the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
- Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has been supporting immunization in Africa since 2000. Read about the impact of our work in Africa here and our work in Nigeria over two decades.
For expert insights and original content and stories from around the world, visit Gavi’s online digital platform Vaccines Work.