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Tue, May

COVID-19: FG Commences Childhood Vaccination Exercise

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said it has integrated childhood vaccination at the COVID-19 vaccination site for children between 0-23 months. The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib made the disclosure at the National COVID-19 vaccines weekly briefing in Abuja, saying the childhood vaccination is to further protect children of that age from the disease. He noted that the integration of childhood COVID-19 vaccination is in line with the Federal Government's plan to involve childhood immunization to the COVID-19 vaccination campaign train.


“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 centres.


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


The NPHCDA boss urged Nigerians to utilise the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination exercise across the country, noting that infection numbers rode during the Yuletide season.


He explained that many unvaccinated people travelled from cities to rural areas for the holiday and back to the cities,


“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.


“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, hospitalization and death,” he said.


Dr. Shuaib further explained that the reason these COVID-19 variants keep emerging is that a large proportion of the eligible population are yet to be vaccinated, giving the virus the opportunity to mutate and fight back.


“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.”

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