COVID-19: Nigeria vaccinates 2,099,568 persons so far
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA ) says more than two million Nigerians have received the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday. He told newsmen that 2,099,568 people have been vaccinated with their first doses, while 1,005,234 have received their second doses of the vaccine as of Thursday.
He said the agency had extended the timeline for the administration of second doses of the vaccine from June 25 to July 5.
Shuaib advised those who received the first dose not later than May 13 to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive the second dose as soon as possible for full protection and admonished that even after receiving the second dose recipients should continue to observe the COVID-19 safety protocols as full vaccination does not provide for exemption.
He said that the administration of first doses is still ongoing and urged Nigerians to avail themselves of the opportunity.
Shuaib noted that after more than three million vaccinations, only 13,267 people experienced mild to moderate side effects, while 4,708 experienced moderate to severe side effects.
WHO representative in Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi, who was present at the news briefing, said the threat of a third wave of COVID-19 was real and was on the increase in some African countries.
“It’s actually more dangerous than ever not because of people that are unvaccinated, but because of people not observing the safety protocols.
“It’s because people are not protecting themselves. People are not avoiding crowded places. People are not engaging in protective measures via social distancing and not wearing face masks when they need to,’’ he said.
Kazadi advised Nigerians to take the preventive measures seriously to complement vaccination adding that inequitable access to vaccines had become a catalyst for the virus to mutate while undermining little gains made in some quarters.
He noted that rapid scale-up of vaccine production and improvement in supply mechanisms was crucial as 77 per cent of all the vaccines administered globally since February was done in seven countries.
In his message at the briefing, UNICEF’s representative in Nigeria, Dr. Peter Hawkins, noted that some countries had started the COVID-19 vaccination for children.
His message was delivered by a UNICEF official, Dr. Gupta Gagan.