Nigeria on Friday commenced the nationwide vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19.
On Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo were vaccinated at the presidential villa in Abuja.
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The duo took doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in order to give hope to millions of Nigerians about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine against the disease that has claimed million of lives across the globe.
Nigeria received 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday, delivered under the international COVAX scheme.
Bellow are that seven things you need to know about the vaccine:
- Oxford AztraZeneca, as the name implies was developed at the University of Oxford from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It was modified to look more like coronavirus although it can’t cause illness.
- Once injected, Oxford AztraZeneca teaches the body’s immune system how to fight the real coronavirus. By so doing it slows the transmission of the virus.
- Unlike Pfizer’s jab which has to be kept at an extremely cold temperature (-70C), the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a normal fridge. This makes it much easier to distribute.
- The team that developed the vaccine looked at data from clinical trials in Brazil, South Africa and the UK.
- Just one dose of the vaccine is 76% effective at preventing COVID-19.
- Rushing the second vaccine is not actually beneficial.
- Some immunologists have cautioned people who have had one or two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine not to lower their guards in terms of physical distancing, wearing masks or hand hygiene.