Chikwe Ihekweazu is in charge of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control. He says efforts to curb the meningitis C outbreak are hampered by a worldwide shortage of vaccine.
He told journalists Thursday that the World Health Organization has delivered 500,000 doses of vaccine but estimates 3 million are needed just in Zamfara, the worst-hit of 15 states in north and central Nigeria.
Ihekweazu says most victims are children aged 5 to 14.
The strain inflames the spinal cord and brain.
A meningitis epidemic killed 1,100 people and infected more than 10,000 in Nigeria and neighboring Niger in 2015.