Nigeria targets Lagos for mass COVID-19 vaccinations

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A staff member of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) puts up a banner during LASEPA's Social Distancing Advocacy at the Ikorodu Community School in Lagos, Nigeria.
A staff member of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) puts up a banner during LASEPA’s Social Distancing Advocacy at the Ikorodu Community School in Lagos, Nigeria.

Authorities in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub and the epicenter of COVID-19 cases, have announced plans on COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the effort to bolster mass vaccination of residents in the state.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos state, made this known in a statement available to Xinhua Monday, saying the state is aiming to achieve a 60 percent vaccine rollout when the vaccination program commences in the coming weeks.

He stressed that the figure would help check the rate of transmission and build the resilience of the state against the ravaging virus.

Sanwo-Olu said the state government did not have the plan to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to all residents, as the state may not have the resources to do that, noting that critical segments in the state population would be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the pandemic.

“We don’t have to vaccinate the whole of 22 million people in Lagos. The plan is around ensuring that there is herd immunity and that typically speaks to 50 to 60 percent of our population. That’s the target we need to really meet in vaccine roll-out,” said Sanwo-Olu.

Aside from the vaccine arrangement being made by the federal government for states, the governor said Lagos had activated plans to augment the vaccines that would be delivered to the state.

“We want the federal government to take the lead in getting the vaccine. As a sub-national government, we are taking our destiny into our own hands. We have started a conversation with some of the vaccine manufacturers,” he said.

On how the state would get resources to fund its vaccine program, the governor said the bulk of the finances would be realized from the private sector donations and international grants, adding that the state government also had allocation for the COVID-19 vaccine project in its 2021 budget.

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