TELECOMMUNICATION giant, MTN, Wednesday, donated 604,800 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, as part of its contributions to controlling the spread of the infectious disease in the country.
Speaking after receiving the consignment on behalf of the federal government, Wednesday, in Abuja, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, thanked the company for what he described as the “exemplary support.”
“So, on behalf of the Government and people of Nigeria, I want to thank MTN for this exemplary support. Without equivocation, 604,800 doses of the J&J vaccine mean a potential 604,800 fully vaccinated Nigerians. This is to say that MTN is wishing Nigeria the fast lane to COVID-19 recovery,” he said.
“However, this demonstrated wish will remain only a wish if we do not receive it by our actions. Receiving it by action simply means that every eligible Nigerian should get vaccinated against COVID-19. We sincerely cannot commit the whole of our time, neither do we have enough resources in Nigeria to fight COVID-19,” he added.
According to him,” The earlier we all come to a common understanding that COVID-19 is still a formidable threat to our collective wellbeing, the stronger we will be, and the easier and faster it will be for us to defeat it and forge ahead with our lives.”
Dr Shuaib regretted that “the vaccines are here, yet there are still many of us who are hesitant to be vaccinated. “
“We seem to be having the wrong information or impression that COVID-19 is no longer existing or it is no longer a problem.
“Those of us who may be having this impression is wrong. The fact is that COVID-19 is still here with us in Nigeria and elsewhere in the world, and it is a dangerous disease that can surge anytime as it has mutating properties. It does not make sense that the government and its partners continue to spend colossal sums of money to protect people against COVID-19 if the disease does not exist,” he said.
According to the NPHCDA boss,” As of today the 14th of September 2022, 47,172,937 eligible persons have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine representing 42.2% of the eligible population. 34,242,083 persons have been fully vaccinated and this represents 30.6% of the eligible person.”
” 3,678,412 of the fully vaccinated persons have received their booster doses. Over forty-seven million eligible persons in Nigeria have so far received the vaccines! Although these people constitute less than half of the overall population of eligible persons in our country, they cannot be wrong to have taken the vaccine,” he said, asking:” So what are we waiting for? “
He explained that” NPHCDA has since rolled out its SCALES 3.0 strategy on COVID-19 campaign. SCALES 3.0 provides a unique opportunity for the whole-of-family to seek protection against vaccine-preventable diseases concurrently in one package. “
“This means that we are vaccinating eligible persons against COVID-19 and other diseases such as hepatitis, yellow fever, polio, measles, etc. concurrently. Parents are strongly advised to take advantage of this opportunity to get their eligible children vaccinated against vaccine-preventable childhood diseases as earlier mentioned.
“We believe that with the continued support of our partners and stakeholders at all levels, Nigeria will be able to attain herd immunity against COVID-19 and step up recovery in the coming months,’ he further said
Earlier, MTN’s General Manager, Regional Operation, Amina Dambata, speaking explained that the company made the donation in fulfilment of the agreement it had with the African Union, AU, to donate vaccines to African countries to tackle the disease.