From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Faisal Shuaib, has announced that a total of 3,441,146 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine have so far been utilised for the 1st and 2nd dose vaccinations in Nigeria.
Speaking in Abuja on Monday at the national briefing of the COVID-19 Presidential Steering Committee, he announced that ‘a total of 4,024,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine were received by the federal government of Nigeria in March 2021; 3.924 million through the COVAX facility and another 100,000 doses from the Government of India.
‘I am glad to inform you that 3,441,146 doses have so far been utilized for the 1st and 2nd dose vaccinations, which is approximately 88 per cent of the total AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine stock in the country. As of today, the breakdown of the number of people vaccinated and the vaccine consumption is as follows:
‘2,265,805 people vaccinated with the first dose; 1,175,341 people vaccinated with the second dose and this means 88 per cent of vaccine doses have been used
‘Based on these data and comparative information from other countries, Nigeria continues to have the highest vaccination rates in Africa with approximately 87,000 people being vaccinated daily. Egypt, South Africa, Ghana and Senegal each have daily vaccination rates of 72,000, 52,600, 12,100 and 4,790, respectively.’
Shuaib further said that ‘it is pertinent to note that as of today, there is no vaccine with the expiration date of June 28th that has not been utilized, which means that there is currently zero balance of such vaccines in the country. Again, this is to demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that only safe and potent COVID-19 vaccines are administered to Nigerians.
‘Although we have had reported cases of mild, moderate and severe reactions since our COVID-19 vaccination roll out in March 2021. 125 Severe AEFI cases were reported while 13,663 mild to moderate cases were reported. These are often expected reactions from normal vaccination and people who experienced any of these have recovered fully and are doing well. More pleasing to mention is that with over 3million people vaccinated, Nigeria has not recorded any death case directly linked with Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI).
‘As you may be aware, we are working closely with NAFDAC and NCDC to determine whether such medical incidences are connected to the vaccination. There is also the MED-SAFETY App which is available free for download on the [Google] Play Store for Android devices and Apple Store for IOS devices, whereby people can report vaccine side effects for themselves or on behalf of others and will receive a timely response.
‘While we are vigilant that no expired vaccines are used in Nigeria, we advise all eligible people (18 years and above) to take advantage of the opportunity offered in the reopening of first dose administration so that they get vaccinated against COVID-19. We are equally calling on those who received their first dose not later than May 17th and are yet to take their second dose to make themselves available for their second dose in order to be fully protected against the disease. Please note that this vaccination phase will close on the 5th of July, 2021 and people are requested to go for their vaccination between now and July 5th.’
On those who took the first jab abroad, the NPHCDA boss said ‘provision has been made for people who may have taken their first dose of the vaccine outside the country and want to take the second dose back home. They can go to any designated health facility nearest to them to receive their jab, as we have informed our Health workers not to turn them back.”
He also added that the government was procuring a total of 29,850,000 of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.
According to him, the government has also recently received communication from the COVAX facility for additional allocation of 3,924,000 doses of AstraZeneca/AZD1222 vaccine, which according to the supply forecast, will be available for delivery into the country by July/August 2021.
‘Similarly, the government is procuring a total allocation of 29,850,000 of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine through the African Union Commission and the AfreximBank arrangement. This is expected by September 2021.’