In spite of the wave of Delta variant of COVID-19 in the country, the Federal Government said on Thursday that it is not contemplating another national shutdown yet just as it has procured about 30 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this while featuring at the weekly ministerial press briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Despite the presence of the Delta variant of coronavirus in the country, Nigeria is not at a level where another national shutdown will be considered,’’ he said.
Ehanire said apart from the vaccines donated to the country, the federal government has paid for about 30 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines to distribute across the states.
Noting that there is a drop in the prices of the one-shot vaccine globally, the Health Minister said it would enable the country to purchase about 40 million doses of the vaccines.
“The 176,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines have already been received while the remaining will come in batches,’’ he said.
Answering questions on the seeming dependence of Nigeria on the donation of vaccines from rich countries, Ehanire said most of the vaccines being administered in the country would be purchased by the government, promising that the country would not depend on gifts from other countries.
Also speaking at the media parley, the Director-General, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, confirmed that the Delta variant of COVID had become dominant in the country but that it is being fought headlong.
On the statistics of Nigerians so far vaccinated, the Executive Director, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, announced that 2.3 per cent of eligible Nigerians had been vaccinated.