Niger State Governor and Chairman North Central Governors Forum (NCGF), Abubakar Sani Bello, on Tuesday said out of the 74,110 doses of Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines received by the State, 35,170 have so far been utilised, representing 47.5 per cent.
According to the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mary Noel-Berje, the NCGF Chairman stated this when he participated in a town hall meeting of the North Central states on COVID-19 vaccination held in Nasarawa State, organised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
Bello who joined the meeting virtually assured that Niger State will not exceed the 50 per cent utilisation of the vaccines as directed by the Federal Government so as to allow for a second dose to those who have taken the first dose.
He also explained that the State has been able to establish one of the best molecular laboratories in the country and the State government is leveraging on the pandemic to reposition the health system in the State particularly in responding to future pandemics.
The NCGF Chairman acknowledged that though there were initial doubts in accepting the vaccine, the state government took actions through sensitisation, which immediately resolved the issues.
Governor Bello said among those that have benefited from the first dose are strategic leaders; comprising all State Executive Council Members, State House of Assembly Members, Religious and Traditional leaders, frontline workers and their supporting staff, as well as at-risk population such as men in uniform, security personnel, petrol station attendants among others adding that efforts are being made to ensure that all eligible persons are vaccinated.
The Governor highlighted that since the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in the State, the State government took giant strides in combating the pandemic by coming up with a strategic working document, establishing a task force involving all relevant stakeholders and passage of executive orders geared towards containing the pandemic.
He commended the organisers of the event and the efforts of the Federal Government as well as the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for coordinating the vaccination rollout.
Niger State Commissioner for Health, Dr Mohammed Makusidi also participated in the meeting virtually.
The town hall meeting brought together all relevant stakeholders from all the North Central States in Nigeria.