Nigeria to roll out COVID-19 mass vaccinations starting this Friday

Africa’s most populous nation looking to inoculate half of its eligible population by end of January.

The West African nation Nigeria plans to kick off a mass vaccination campaign later this week, as it looks to vaccinate half of its targeted population by the end of January. To reach herd immunity, the continent’s most populous country aims to vaccinate 111 million of its more than 200 million people within the next few months. The programme, which is expected to start this coming Friday is expected to see more than a million doses being administered daily, bringing the total number of doses administered through the initiative to 55 million. So far, Nigeria has only vaccinated 2.9 percent of its eligible population. To facilitate the rollout, vaccination sites will be set up at locations such as private health facilities, universities, colleges, stadiums, motor parks and shopping malls.

According to Boss Mustapha, who heads up the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, the government “has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50% of the target population by the end of January 2022.” In addition to this, he also highlighted that the government is trying to secure booster shots “so as to build a healthy level of antibodies.” According to Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Nigerian government had received about five million AstraZeneca doses just this past month from the COVAX facility. In addition, the country has commitments for 11.99 million and 12.2 million doses of Pfizer Inc/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively. An additional 40 million J&J vaccine doses had also been acquired.