Nigeria recorded a total of 1,060 cases of circulating Vaccine derived Poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV) between 2020 and this year.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday at the 38th Expert Review Committee meeting on polio and routine immunization.
Vaccine derived Poliovirus differs from the Wild Polio Virus which has been eradicated in Nigeria and Africa. It occurs when there is low immunization.
Shuaib said: “Our surveillance system has remained robust despite the global COVID-19 pandemic that had a negative impact on the health system. In 2020, our surveillance had picked and detected 22 cases of CDVPV2, in 2021, 1027 cases and in 2022, 11 cases have already been detected.”
He said though the figures might look scary, they showed that the country’s surveillance system was effective and reliable.
He said the cVDPV2, was a major concern during the last ERC meeting.
He said the outbreak had snowballed into even greater proportions to become one of the greatest challenges the country had faced in the polio programme apart from the recent detection of Wild Polio Virus type 1 (WPV1) in Malawi in February, and WPV 3 report in Israel this March.
He said the report from Malawi indicated that Nigeria must strengthen its system in order to avoid an outbreak of WPV in the country.
He said: “One of this guidance was the use of novel Oral Polio vaccine (nOPV2) which has been shown to be effective in halting the spread of cVPV2.
“So far, all 36 States and FCT have completed at least two rounds of nOPV2, 18 states have completed at least four rounds of nOPV2 Outbreak Response, 3 states have completed three rounds, while an additional 16 states have completed at least two rounds of nOPV2 Outbreak response.”
He also said so far, 19,316, 980 Nigerians had been vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 8,799,052, second dose; and 725,459, booster dose.
Prof. Akin Osibogun, chairman of the expert review committee on polio and routine immunization, said the recent wild poliovirus type 1 in Malawi had made it imperative for Nigeria to urgently put in place strategies to prevent importation of the virus.