Covid fourth wave imminent – Sanwo-Olu

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has declared there is the possibility of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infection in Nigeria as the Christmas holiday approaches.

Mr. Sanwo-Olu stated this on Wednesday at the launch of a mass vaccination campaign as part of strategies to stave off the re-emergence of the viral infection.

The campaign, aimed at vaccinating four million Lagos residents before the end of the year, was flagged off with a symbolic event held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.

Tagged “Operation Count Me In! 4 Million Lagosians Vaccinated Against COVID-19”, the project is being undertaken by the Lagos State Government in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

Speaking on a likely surge in infection, Sanwo-Olu said “there is potential for the fourth wave of Covid-19, as our borders would be opened to all people coming into Lagos in December.

“To prevent the catastrophic events we witnessed in the previous waves, the state has developed a robust vaccination drive, leveraging on both the strengths we have in the public and private sectors of our healthcare system.

“In development of our strategy and counter-measures, we prioritise the protection of human lives and keeping our economy open for business.

“To mitigate against this potential damage that will further spread existing variants of Covid-19 in the State, and accelerate efforts towards herd immunity, the need for a different strategy became a front-burner issue.

“This is what has culminated in the campaign, tagged ‘Count Me In! 4 million Lagosians Vaccinated Against Covid-19’ to target the full vaccination of 4 million Lagos residents before the end of December 2021.

“Once achieved, this will bring the State closer to reaching our promise to vaccinate 30 percent of our population within one year.”

Sanwo-Olu said the state had successfully vaccinated 800,000 residents with the first dose of Moderna vaccine and 310,000 persons are fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine since March.

This, he said, sums the total number of residents vaccinated with the first dose of either AstraZeneca or Moderna to 1.2 million, while raising the number of fully vaccinated individuals to 550,000, which accounts for about four per cent of the State’s population.

Sanwo-Olu re-emphasised that the vaccines being administered are safe and remain free of charge in public health facilities.

He, however, said an administrative charge of N6,000 would be paid by individuals who wish to get the vaccines at approved private facilities.

The governor added that they are not compelling anyone to get vaccinated.

Speaking at the event, NPHCDA executive director Dr. Shuaib Faisal disclosed that only 2,950,232 Nigerians had been fully vaccinated, which is a far cry from reaching the target number for herd immunity.