Nigeria trails 157 countries in COVID-19 vaccination, behind Togo, Ghana, others

Amid the third wave of COVID-19 infections, only 1,416,623 Nigerians, representing 0.9 per cent of the country’s population, have been fully vaccinated against the deadly virus.

Experts say a nation must vaccinate 70 per cent of its population to achieve herd immunity.

WHO, on its website, describes herd immunity as the indirect protection from an infectious disease that happens when a population is immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through previous infection. However, the agency has yet to take a position on the percentage of vaccinations required for a country to be officially declared as having achieved COVID-19 herd immunity.

Check by Saturday PUNCH on Friday showed that Nigeria was behind 157 countries around the world in the rate of vaccination against the deadly virus.

Worldwide figures provided by Google News based on data aggregated from Wikipedia, Johns Hopkins University and Our World in Data showed that 4,620,035,352 vaccines had been administered, while 1,257,545,210 (16.2 per cent) people were fully vaccinated.

The 10 countries topping the vaccination chart are Malta (81.3 per cent), Maldives (78.2 per cent), United Arab Emirates (73.7 per cent), Seychelles (70.2 per cent), Iceland (70.1 per cent), Singapore (70 per cent), Bahrain (69.2 per cent), San Marino (68.2 per cent), Chile (67.5 per cent), Uruguay (67.4 per cent), and Qatar (67.4 per cent).

As of 9.30pm on Friday, the total number of doses administered in Nigeria stood at 3,967,013, while the population of those who had received at least one dose of the vaccine was 2,550,390, representing 1.2 per cent of the country. Of that number, the population of fully vaccinated Nigerians was 1,416,623 (0.69 per cent).

According to Worldometer, which provides real-time statistics for diverse topics, Nigeria has a population of about 206,139,589.

In terms of population, the closest country to Nigeria, Brazil (212,559,417), had administered a total of 160,056,922 doses, with 116,138,282 (55 per cent) having received at least one dose, while 48,164,569 were (22.8 per cent) fully vaccinated.

In Africa, the second most populous nation, Ethiopia with 114,963,588 citizens, had given 2,302,496 vaccine doses, though no data was provided on the number of recipients of either one dose or full vaccination.

Egypt, with a population of 102,334,404, had administered 5,750,549 doses. A total of 3,883,927 Egyptians (3.9 per cent) had received at least one dose, while 1,866,622 (1.9 per cent) were fully vaccinated.

With a population of 31,072,940, Ghana had given 1,271,393 doses in total, with 865,422 (2.9 per cent) of its people having received at least one dose and 405,971 (1.3 per cent) fully vaccinated.

South Africa, with a population of 59,308,690, had administered 9,185,756 doses, and 7,249,045 (12.3 per cent), who had got at least one dose, including 3,958,231 (6.7 per cent) fully vaccinated.

In Kenya with a population of 53,771,296, a total of 1,922,085 doses had been administered to 1,192,418 (2.5 per cent) of its citizens, including 729,667 who were fully vaccinated.

With a population of 8,278,724, Togo had administered 474,776 doses. A total of 321,139 (4.3 per cent) had received one dose, while 153,637 (2 per cent) had received the complete dosage.

The World health Organisation, last week, confirmed to Sunday PUNCH that the Alpha variant of the novel coronavirus, first detected in the United Kingdom, had been reported in 38 African countries, including Nigeria.

Similarly, the Beta variant (B.1.351), first detected in South Africa, has so far been confirmed in 35 African countries, including Nigeria, while the Delta variant has been reported in Nigeria and 25 other nations on the continent.

WHO disclosed that Africa had received 91 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far, noting that about 24 million people, just 1.7 per cent of Africa’s population, had been vaccinated.

The New Vaccines Introduction Officer at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr Phionah Atuhebwe, said, “The continent needs up to 183 million more doses to fully vaccinate 10 per cent of its population by the end of September and up to 729 million more doses to meet the end-of-year goal of fully vaccinating 30 per cent of Africa’s population.

“COVAX aims to deliver 520 million doses to Africa by the end of 2021. Almost 90 million of these doses have now been allocated to African countries and will be delivered by the end of September.” Punch

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