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News > Nigeria

Delta Variant Now Most Dominant COVID-19 Strain in Nigeria

  • COVID-19 patients at a hospital, Nigeria, Sept. 2021.

    COVID-19 patients at a hospital, Nigeria, Sept. 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @purelyng

Published 14 September 2021

Nigeria seeks to vaccinate 40 percent of its population this year and 70 percent by the end of 2022.

The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been identified as the most dominant strain in Nigeria, as Africa's most populous country continues to take measures to level out the third wave of infections, said Health Minister Osagie Ehanire.


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Since late June, data by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) indicated a surge in COVID-19 cases and fatalities, a development that has brought renewed pressure on the health system, compounded by an ongoing industrial action by resident doctors in the country.

"Evidence so far 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," Ehanire said and noted that "the dreaded third wave of COVID-19 may appear to be leveling out in the country because there had been no catastrophic increases in infections and fatalities."

So far, Nigeria has recorded a total of 199,538 COVID-19 cases, with recovered cases standing at 188,427 and the death toll rising to 2,619. Over 1.6 million persons have been fully vaccinated since Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination six months ago, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA Director Faisal Shuaib said.

In mid-August, Nigeria started the second phase of its COVID-19 vaccination program. The NPHCDA has so far made progress by vaccinating 1,692,315 citizens with the two recommended doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, while 4,052,756 eligible Nigerians have also received their first dose.

Nigeria is currently expanding vaccine sources, with an ambitious goal of vaccinating at least 40 percent of its population by the end of this year, and 70 percent by the end of 2022. Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, said the country was expecting to receive a total of 52 million doses of vaccines by the second quarter of 2022.

"The most potent way of getting out of this situation is through vaccines, which science and research have presented to us. I call on every eligible person to come out and be vaccinated," Mustapha said.

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