ABOUT 26.2 million people are expected to be vaccinated in the second round of a yellow fever campaign being conducted by the Federal Government and its partners, it was learnt yesterday.
The campaign is taking place as Nigeria experiences a yellow fever outbreak since September 2017, with confirmed cases recorded in 27 local government areas across 14 states.
The campaign, which is funded by Gavi, will run from today to December 1, 2018 and will target children and adults in Plateau, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Borno states as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The first phase of the campaign took place in January and February 2018 in Kwara, Kogi and Zamfara states and parts of Borno State. About 8.7 million adults and children between the ages of nine months and 45 years of ages were vaccinated.
A total of 39.9 million people are expected to be vaccinated against yellow fever this year.
Yellow fever is caused by a virus spread through the bite of infected mosquitos. Some patients can develop serious symptoms, including high fever and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), but the disease can be easily prevented by a vaccine that provides immunity for life.
Hence, the present campaign, which is the biggest-ever yellow fever campaign, seeks to establish high population immunity nationwide and will be carried out by the government of Nigeria and support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and UNICEF.
“Immunising more than 26 million people is a massive undertaking,” said Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
“But this achievement will represent a huge step towards protecting people from the potentially deadly viral haemorrhagic disease in Nigeria and in the African region,” Moeti said.