Tuesday, June 6, 2023

COVID-19: Nigeria crosses 1m vaccination threshold

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, said 30,452 Nigerian residents have received shots of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, bringing the number of jabs so far to 1.08 million.

The NPHCDA disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Friday.

The agency said that 30,452 people have taken the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.

“As of today, April 16, some 1,081,548 representing 53.8 per cent of the eligible persons targeted with the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered their first dose in this vaccination phase.

“The 1,081,548, were eligible Nigerians who have been vaccinated in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),” it said.

The agency said that the figure was more than half of the percentage of target reached with first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

The immunisation agency disclosed that out of the 1,081,548 people given the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the country, 8,439 people have suffered mild Adverse Events Following Immunization, AEFI.

It added that 52 people had moderate to severe adverse effects on receiving the shots.

It explained that the mild reactions include body pains and swelling, the moderate to severe adverse effects presented were fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.

The immunisation agency disclosed that there was no death from the administration of the vaccine and “no case of blood clots related to the administration of the vaccines have been diagnosed in the country.”

It said that five states have the highest records of the AEFI namely: Kaduna (970); Cross River (859); Yobe (541); Kebbi (511); and Lagos (448).

The NPHCDA said that the cases were being investigated to ensure they were caused by vaccination.

According to it, states with coverage above 100 per cent have vaccinated more than the 50 percent of eligible population required for the first dose.

The NPHCDA said that Lagos state topped the total clients vaccinated in the country  by administering 200,602 and Kano with 57, 900.

It said that they were followed by kaduna, 56,238; while Ogun with 52,906 and the FCT with 46,049 had all received their first dose of Oxford AstraZeneca.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that for the country to achieve high immunity against COVID-19, it has set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021.

The country also hopes to attain 70 per cent by the end of 2022.

The country began vaccination since March 5, 2021 with healthcare workers who are mostly at risk to the infections being the first responders.

It noted that the vaccine roll-out would be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders.

“Phase 2 – Older adults aged 50 years and above. Those with co-morbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age

“Phase 3 – Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2.

“Phase 4 – Other eligible population as vaccines become available,” it’s said.

The immunization agency said that as of April 15, 2021, just 1,051.096 shots had been administered in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

It noted that the proportion of eligible people vaccinated in the country was 52. 2 per cent as of April ,15.

NAN recalls that the country took delivery of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, an UN-backed effort that promises access to free vaccines for up to 20 percent of participating countries’ population.

The delivery is part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to Nigeria in batches over the next months.

Besides, on March 21, 2021 the country received another 300,000 doses of same vaccines from telecom giant, MTN.

On April 6, the government of India also delivered 100,000 doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria.

The COVISHIELD, a brand of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine also manufactured is used in over 71 countries including the UK, Canada, India and Brazil.

With only about 4.4million doses of COVID-19 vaccines available in the country, Nigeria is still far from reaching its set target, according to health experts.

Due to limited doses of vaccine availability, the Federal government directed the states to halt vaccination once it used half of the doses allocated to them.

The government said that the directive became necessary since the country was not sure when next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines would arrive the country.

“We believe that in a situation where, we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccines will arrive, then I think wisdom only dictates that it is better for us to vaccinate people fully.

“It is so that we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated since this vaccination comes in two doses,” it explained.


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