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COVID-19 vaccine coverage reaches 1 million target

A total 1,071,346 Nigerians have taken their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said. That’s…

A total 1,071,346 Nigerians have taken their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.

That’s 53.2% of people considered eligible for the vaccine, according to reports received from states through the Electronic Management of Immunization Data (EMID) system.

The number does not include vaccinations not yet captured in the system.

“What this number means is that these are the people who have their information already uploaded on our data base, while others are awaiting upload, potentially due to network problems and the high traffic of those coming in to take their shots at the same time,” said NPHCDA executive director Faisal Shuaib.

“While we continue to optimize our registration and immunization data system, we also encourage the state teams to deploy the most suitable internet service for their locations in order to speed up the data entry process, so that we can have the actual number of vaccinated people at any given time.”

Inoculation of frontline health workers in some states is completed, and attention has shifted to the elderly aged over 65.

“We have been careful to ensure that only those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the current phase are being vaccinated. These include health workers and their support staff, other frontline workers, strategic leaders and in the last few days, we have also included those who meet the age requirements.

“We continue to communicate these eligibility criteria to our teams in the states, in order to address earlier misunderstandings around people who are being vaccinated across the country.”

He also said there is currently a global shortfall of COVID-19 vaccines largely due to the manufacturers not meeting their projected targets while saying that these developments have now necessitated that we reassess our vaccine supply forecasts and take the decision to ensure that everyone who has taken the vaccine in the current phase gets the second dose before the next consignment is delivered to Nigeria.

So far, 52 moderate-to-severe cases of adverse events following immunization have been reported, including fever, vomiting, diarrhoea headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.

A total 8,439 mild cases have been reported, with the highest numbers in Kaduna, Cross River, Yobe, Kebbi and Lagos.

“There has been no death from administration of the vaccine. We have also not diagnosed any case of blood clots related to the administration of the vaccines. Nevertheless, we are working with NAFDAC, NCDC and other relevant agencies to set up a more active surveillance system built on our experience with polio surveillance.”

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