Nigerian officials announced on Monday that they will start a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign later this week, aiming to increase the current vaccination rate of just 2.7%.

Boss Mustapha, head of the presidential steering committee on COVID-19, said the government "has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50% of the target population by the end of January 2022."

This means that Africa's most populous country needs to administer more than a million doses a day in order to reach its goal of vaccinating 111 million people to reach herd immunity.

The initiative is expected to start on Friday and Nigerians will be able to find vaccine sites set up at private health facilities, universities, colleges, stadiums, motor parks and shopping malls among other venues, Reuters reported.

In September, the World Bank’s International Development Association approved a $400 million credit to speed up Nigeria’s Covid vaccination program, the Guardian noted.

“At this rate, the continent may only reach the 40% target by the end of March 2022,” said Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization’s Africa regional director.

The Nigerian government is trying to take action against that predicament since it reached 213,147 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 2,968 deaths as of Monday.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said Nigeria received about 5 million purchases and donations of AstraZeneca shots last month. Nigeria also had commitments for nearly 40 million Johnson & Johnson, 11.99 million doses of Pfizer vaccines and 12.2 million of Moderna, Shuaib said. He also said the government was making efforts to secure booster shots.


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