The Federal Government has stated that the Delta strain is already the most dominant in Nigeria, urging that Nigerians must maintain protective measures and increase testing to determine our situation.

This was disclosed by Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 briefing on Monday, in Abuja.

The Minister stated that the dreaded third wave of COVID-19 might appear to be levelling out because there had been no catastrophic increase in infections and fatalities.

However, he added that it would be unwise to assume that the threat was gone, especially as cases were fluctuating and had to be identified by genomic sequencing.

”Evidence so far, however, is that the Delta strain is already the dominant one in Nigeria. We must keep our protective measures in place and increase testing to determine our situation. 

“There are reports of new coronavirus mutations circulating in other countries, a development we shall monitor with all the tools available to us, to ensure we respond appropriately,” he said.

He added that Nigeria should remain on alert at Points of Entry, including land and sea borders, to confront the importation of COVID-19. Several cases have indeed been identified by rapid diagnostic tests and taken care of accordingly.

On vaccines, he revealed that the FG had recently secured 40 million doses of J&J vaccines to be arriving at a rate that NPHCDA would set for disbursement to states.

“All states have received doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna and J&J vaccines for the ongoing second phase of the vaccination exercise in all states, while the Federal Government has done due diligence to ensure vaccine quality and safety.

“Available data shows that there have been no serious adverse effects so far, following vaccinations so that confidence in vaccines we are using is upheld. We have a good mix and quantity of vaccines and do not envisage shortages, despite news reports that vaccines allocated to Africa will be reduced by 25 per cent soon.

”We believe the reduction may be linked to increased demand in high-income countries, many of whom have commenced third booster doses of COVID-19 and/or reduced vaccine eligibility age in their countries to 12 years or even less,” he said.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics recently reported that the WHO stated that the COVAX initiative had already achieved significant progress and hit major milestones. The achievements include the raising of more than US$10 billion, legally binding commitments for up to 4.5 billion doses of vaccine and the delivery of 240 million doses to 139 countries in just six months.

The statement further revealed that COVAX was unable to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the world got adequate vaccine supply, due to a number of drawbacks including export bans in some countries, prioritization of bilateral deals by manufacturers and countries, challenges in scaling up production by some key producers, and delays in filing for regulatory approval.

Going further, COVAX expects to have access to 1.43 billion doses of vaccine in 2021, and of these doses, approximately 1.2 billion will be supplied to the lower-income economies participating in the COVAX.