The Federal Government on Monday said efforts are ongoing to bring on-board booster doses in the ongoing COVID-19 Vaccination programme so as to build a healthy level of anti-bodies.

A booster vaccine dose typically helps improve the protection after a person has completed one or two doses of vaccine, depending on the product, according to the World Health Organisation. It gives longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19 and is designed to help people maintain a longer level of immunity, and is currently being admitted in countries.

The WHO said booster doses may only be needed if there is evidence of insufficient protection against the disease and immunity naturally starts to wane. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, said there is currently an increase in case fatality which, according to him, calls for great concern.

Mustapha added that the PSC is currently seeing some surges in cases in some countries in Europe (especially Eastern Europe) due to under vaccination, and even in countries where massive vaccinations have occurred. To this end, the Chairman informed that the vaccination phase is being accelerated and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has concluded arrangements to roll-out a mass vaccination plan with effect from Friday, November 20, 2021.

Mustapha assured Nigerians that the NPHCDA has enough vaccines in the pipeline to vaccinate about 50 percent of the target population by the end of January, 2022. Speaking further, Mustapha frowned at the procurement of vaccination cards illegally and warned that persons caught would be prosecuted.

“We have received intelligence and even detected that some unscrupulous citizens are procuring vaccination cards through the black market. Let me assure everyone that the vaccination records/certificates will be verified and this should serve as a warning to those criminally minded persons to desist because they will be prosecuted accordingly,” he said.

The Chairman urged Travelers leaving the country to be conversant with the Travel Protocols of all Countries (origin, transit and destination). This, according to him, became necessary because of comments and reports in the media that some citizens are denied boarding due to lack of pre-departure protocol compliance, while others returning home also complained about requirements to be met.

The Chairman further informed that the National International Travel Protocol portal has been upgraded to meet existing protocol and the demands of travelling public and is now live and running smoothly.

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