By G9ija

Following the directive by the Federal Government that states should only utilise half of the doses of the COVID-19 vaccines allocated to them, no fewer than 14 states have currently exceeded the 50 per cent benchmark.

It explained that the reason for the directive was to ensure that those who receive their first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would be guaranteed their second dose when the time comes.

It stated that it is not sure when the next batch of the expected vaccines will arrive in the country.

According to data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), as of 1st of April, 2021, 14 states have exceeded 50 of their target population for vaccination. The states are: Adamawa (55.1 per cent), Bauchi (86.4 per cent), Edo (52.4 percent), Ekiti (83.0 per cent), Jigawa (70.3 per cent), Kaduna (55.3 per cent), Katsina (71.6 per cent), Kwara (107.5 per cent), Lagos (60.0 per cent), Nasarawa (51.7 per cent), Ogun (91.3 per cent), Ondo (78.8 per cent), Osun (62.4 per cent), and Yobe (61.2 percent).

Speaking during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on covid-19 in Abuja yesterday, Minister of State for Health Dr Olorunimbe Mamora said: “It is true that states have been given a directive to vaccinate half of the doses deployed to them.

“We believe that in a situation where we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive, well I think wisdom only dictates that it is better for us to vaccinate people fully so that we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated, since this vaccination comes in two doses.

“So, that is what gave rise to that directive, rather than just going ahead with just a single dose when the full dose should be two doses of the vaccine. We thought that it is proper for us in the circumstance to ensure that those who have been vaccinated have been fully vaccinated by the time we fully utilise the doses available.”