FG To Integrate Childhood Immunisation Into COVID-19 Vaccination

Chinedu Ibeakanma
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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA), in Nigeria on Tuesday announced that it would integrate childhood vaccination at COVID-19 vaccination sites for children from 0-23 months in the ongoing mass vaccination exercise.

Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA, disclosed this at the National COVID-19 Vaccines weekly briefing, in Abuja

Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director, NPHCDA, disclosed this in a statement delivered at the National COVID-19 Vaccines weekly briefing, in Abuja and was shared on the Twitter handle of NPHCDA, @Nphcda.

Shuaib explained that the integration was to ensure that preventable childhood diseases are not neglected in the face of the response against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NPHCDA boss also called on Nigerians to endeavour they utilise the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country, Shuaib, said the holiday season came with a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The NPHCDA Executive Director said several unvaccinated individuals were migrating from the cities to the rural areas and back to the cities.

He elaborated that the Integration of childhood immunisation across Nigeria the federal government is planning to integrate childhood immunisation into its ongoing COVID-19 campaign train.

The statement partly reads,
“In this phase of COVID-19 mass vaccination, the campaign would be integrated with childhood immunization and other primary health care services. What this simply means is that alongside the COVID-19 vaccines, childhood vaccines will also be available at COVID-19 vaccination sites.

“Consequently, parents or guardians with children aged zero to 23 months are urged to take them along to the vaccination sites,” he explained.

While calling on Nigerians to endeavour they utilise the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination campaign across the country, Shuaib, said the holiday season came with a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The NPHCDA Executive Director said several unvaccinated individuals were migrating from the cities to the rural areas and back to the cities.

Shuaib said, “Globally, we saw the emergence of new variants such as IHU variant in France which is said to have 46 mutations, Deltacron in Cyprus and the Omicron variant still being highly infectious with a BA.2 subvariant rapidly spreading.

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“More of our citizens were coming down with the infection. Luckily for our vaccinated population, those who came down with the COVID-19 infection had mild symptoms which they managed at home due to the immunity the vaccination provided them.”

“If they were not vaccinated, we cannot predict how these cases would have turned out. Vaccination prevents you from severe disease, hospitalisation and death.”

Elaborating further, he said the reason for the emergence of these variants was because there was still a large proportion of the eligible population who were yet to be vaccinated.

Shuaib, stressed, “It is important that we protect ourselves and our loved ones by getting the jab. Our vaccination exercise was expanded to enable all eligible persons to have easier access.

“All vaccination sites are open to eligible persons, 18 years and above for first, second and booster doses. We call on Nigerians to avail themselves of this opportunity in the ongoing mass vaccination exercise to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

On his part, Dr. Peter Hawkins, UNICEF Nigeria Representative, announced that $298 million have been used by the Nigerian government for the procurement of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in total at about 30 million doses.

Source: Independent.ng

This post was written by Chinedu Ibeakanma.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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