COVID-19 Third Wave: Nigeria Runs Out Of Vaccine

Nigeria might be experiencing the third wave of Covid-19 infections as predicted by the World Health Organization, following reports of a rise in infection rates and the presence of the infamous Delta variant as reported by Nigeria’s National Centre For Disease Control (NCDC).

Until last week, Nigeria was recording fewer than 40 cases daily on average. However, in the first week of July, the NCDC reported a swift rise in infection rates to 105 cases daily.

The governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu also reported a rise in Covid-19 infection in the state from 1.1% to 6.6% since the beginning of July. Hospitalization rates also went up from 1% to 6%.

“From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1 per cent at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6 per cent as of July 8, 2021. The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern. Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased from an average of 1% to 6%. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us,” he said.

The spokesperson for the Director-General of the NCDC,  Emeka Oguano, has blamed the spike in infections on the delta variant’s presence in the country. The World Health Organisation has said the variant is 6% more transmissible than Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2).

According to the global body, the variant is responsible for the surge in infection rates in about 110 countries across the world where it has been reported.

No fewer than 737 new COVID-18 cases were recorded in the country between July 4 and 10, according to the NCDC.

Vaccination Rates

The vaccination rate in Nigeria is still below 3%. Speaking on the concerning trend, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said only 1% of Lagos state’s population has been fully vaccinated; a far cry from its target of 60% for herd immunity.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker, also reported the scarcity of vaccines in the state and how it has affected vaccination rates in the state.

Coker said the state had exhausted the vaccines allocated by the federal government, while the additional 10,000 vaccines received by the state expired on July 9, 2021.

Ekiti State has also exhausted its vaccine allocation, according to the coordinator of the state’s COVID-19 Response Task Force, Prof Mobolaji Aluko.

Aluko added that the state was only able to vaccinate 2% of its population due to limited vaccines and vaccine hesitation from a majority of its population.

Meanwhile, the Lagos state government have reported that 18 per cent of the 50,322 passengers who came into the state between May 8 and July 7 could not be reached for monitoring and isolation.

“Between May 8 and 7 July 2021, a total of 50,322 passengers of interest arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport. Of the 50,322 passengers, 18% could not be reached by EKOTELEMED because of the provision of either wrong numbers or wrong Nigerian contact details to be reached on,” according to the state governor.

Patsy Nwogu

Reporting on data-driven featured stories and investigations.

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