Nigeria has received 604,800 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Covid-19 vaccines worth $25 million from MTN.
MTN General Manager, Regional Operations, North, Hajiya Amina Dambata, presented the vaccines to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), on Wednesday, September 14, 2022, at a brief ceremony in Abuja.
Dambata stated that the donation was part of MTN’s contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and effort to boost the health of Nigerians.
She was optimistic that the vaccines would be strategically deployed to locations where they would be used for the purposes they were purchased.
Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who received the consignment on behalf of the Federal Government, described MTN as a faithful partner in development to the Government of Nigeria, and a great friend of Nigerian people.
Dr. Shuaib who was represented by Dr. Bassey Okposen, said, “we sincerely cannot commit the whole of our time, neither do we have enough resources in Nigeria to fight COVID-19. So, 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.
“One could imagine what our dear country would have been facing by now if we did not have support like the one we received from MTN today (Wednesday).”
He however lamented that Nigerians were still hesitant to be vaccinated even when there was enough information and evidence that indicated that COVID-19 vaccine was safe for human use.
“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 are 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.
He, however, disclosed that as at 14th September, 2022; 47,172,937 eligible persons had received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine representing 42.2 per cent of the eligible population. Also, 34,242,083 persons had been fully vaccinated and this represents 30.6 per cent of the eligible person.
He also added that 3,678,412 of the fully vaccinated persons had received their booster doses, “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. So what are we waiting for?”
He thanked MTN for the donation and promised that NPHCDA would continue to work with all stakeholders, partners and communities to ensure the success of COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Nigeria:
“NPHCDA has since rolled out its SCALES 3.0 strategy on COVID-19 campaign which 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.
“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,” Shuaib said.