Nigeria will receive an additional 3.92 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines by end of July or early August, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said.
The Executive Director of the agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this Tuesday during the organisation’s weekly COVID-19 vaccination update.
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He said: “We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca by end of July or early August.
“As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this.”
He said as of Tuesday, the country had administered 1,978,808 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 680,345 second doses.
Dr Shuaib urged all Nigerians, who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago, to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose, on or before 25th June when the administration of the second dose would be closed.
“Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on 24th May 2021.
“Since then, we have been inundated with request by Nigerians to be vaccinated.
“In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today.
“This means anyone 18 years and above, who has not been vaccinated, should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“For such persons, their second dose will be due in 12 weeks and by then we would have received the next consignment of vaccines,” he said.
‘92% effective for Indian variant of COVID-19’
He said that recent research from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92% susceptible to Oxford/Astrazeneca.
He added that it was therefore comforting to know that the vaccine used in Nigeria could protect against this variant that caused high morbidity and mortality in India.
WHO Country Representative for Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said COVID-19 cases on the African continent would soon pass the five million mark, adding that the continent faces a looming third wave.
He said Africa recorded a 53% increase in cases compared with the previous fortnight.
“The threat of a 3rd wave of COVID-19 is real and is raising in the African Region, including Nigeria.
“A rapid rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is therefore important while intensifying COVID-19 preventive measures such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue,” he said.
Dr Mulombo said while an increasing number of persons in Nigeria were being fully vaccinated, there was the need for all to continue to adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions as recommended by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
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