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Diphtheria: FG vaccinates over 4.9m children as cases hit 9,478

The federal government said over 4,859,181 children had been vaccinated against diphtheria in the second phase of the outbreak response, using vaccines across the affected…

The federal government said over 4,859,181 children had been vaccinated against diphtheria in the second phase of the outbreak response, using vaccines across the affected states.

The executive director of the  National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, stated this Friday during the National Diphtheria Taskforce news briefing in Abuja.

The disclosure came as the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said that as at October 19, there had been 15,060 reported suspected cases of diphtheria, out of which 9,478 were confirmed cases from 137 local government areas in 20 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He said, “A total of 1,692,762 children, ranging from 6 months to 4 years of age, have been diligently administered the Pentavalent vaccine—a vital safeguard against this disease. In addition, an impressive 3,166,419 children aged 4 to 14 years have received the Td vaccines, further strengthening our safeguards from the disease among our children and teenagers.”

Dr Shuaib said the phase two, round one of the Outbreak Response using diphtheria vaccines commenced on September 23 and has unfolded in seven states, comprising 56 local government areas that are profoundly impacted by the ongoing diphtheria outbreak.

He said the epicentre of the epidemic, which is Kano State, had also vaccinated 1,111,310 children with Td vaccines (Diphtheria and tetanus), and 544,737 children with Pentavalent vaccines in the phase two.

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