Nigeria set to vaccinate 25m people against Yellow Fever-WHO

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Nigeria government with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF aims to vaccinate 26.2 million people during the second phase of its biggest-ever yellow fever campaign as it seeks to establish high population immunity nationwide. This step of the campaign, which is funded by GAVI will run from 22 November to 1 December 2018 and will target children and adults in Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Borno states as well as the Federal Capital Territory. Dr. Joseph Oteri, Director of Special Duties at Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency said, “The vaccination will be for people within 9 months to 44 years cohort, parents are advised to avail themselves and their children to partake in the vaccination; The vaccine is free, safe and effective.”
Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said, “Immunizing more than 26 million people is a massive undertaking but this achievement will represent a huge step towards protecting people from the potentially deadly viral hemorrhagic disease not only in Nigeria but in the African region.” To ensure this phase of the vaccination campaign runs smoothly, the Federal Ministry of Health, in collaboration with WHO with support from GAVI has trained and deployed Management Support Teams (MST). The MSTs are overseeing preparations in the run-up to the campaign and, in partnership with WHO yellow fever experts, will act as supervisors and provide technical assistance during the campaign itself. Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance said, “Nigeria is on the front line in the global battle against yellow fever. Routine immunization coverage remains dangerously low, as shown by the latest outbreak, which is why this campaign is so important to protect the vulnerable. While this campaign will save lives, we need to focus our efforts on the best long-term solution – improving routine immunization coverage so every child is protected, preventing outbreaks from happening in the first place.”

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