KATSINA State has recorded an impressive79% vaccination rate after the first phase of the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign with an overwhelming majority of the state’s residents expressing confidence in the programme.
Last month, Nigeria received her first batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine with 4m doses flown in from India and the federal government immediately distributed them across the 36 states of the federation. There had been fears that residents some states might reject the vaccines after a bad experience in 1996 when Pfizer carried out trials of an experimental meningitis drug called Trovan which had adverse side effects, leading to the deaths of 11 children.
Like most African nations, Nigeria is not involved in the production of any of the major coronavirus vaccines and neither AstraZeneca or Pfizer have a manufacturing facility on the continent. However, there have been no fears this time around with the 4m does of the drug from India well received, leading to further donation of 100,000 does of India’s locally-manufactured Covishield vaccine to Nigeria through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
According to the NPHCDA, no fewer than no fewer than 800,000 people have been vaccinated nationwide across Nigeria. Dr Shammsudeen Yahaya, the executive secretary of the Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that the state has achieved its primary target of reaching frontline health workers during the first phase of the vaccination campaign.
He added: “Katsina State has implemented the Covid-19 vaccination campaign Phase One for 12 days and has reached 79% of the target population, which are frontline health workers including security personnel and strategic leaders. The campaign was largely successful.”
“We have also vaccinated the state contingent to National Sport Festival in Edo State. We are also planning to vaccinate all intending pilgrims from the state.’’
NPHCDA officials corroborated the claim, saying Katsina State is among the states with the highest number of vaccinated people against the Covid-19 virus. According to the agency, Katsina State has so far vaccinated 38,476 people, making it the fourth-highest in vaccination ranking.