By Deborah Musa, Abuja
In light of taking the Covid-19 Vaccine and some Nigerians entertaining the fear of death as adverse effect from taking the vaccine, the Executive Director/C.E.O of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Faisal Shuaib cleared the air today, stating that Nigeria has not recorded any case of death directly linked to Covid-19 Vaccination
The NPHCDA boss made this known at a press conference scheduled to update Nigerians on the status of covid-19 vaccination in the country on Thursday in Abuja
Faisal disclosed that so far in respect to adverse events following immunization (AEFI), more than three million persons have been vaccinated and 13, 267 people have experienced mild to moderate side effects while 4,708 persons have experienced moderate to severe side effects which is expected from normal vaccination meanwhile, persons who experienced this have long recovered and are doing well
Faisal further stated that the NPHCDA is working closely with National Agency for food and Drugs Administration control (NAFDAC) on adverse events following immunization (AEFI) response
Faisal also said MED-SAFETY an App available for free on play store for Android users and Apple Store for IOS users has been launched for individuals to report any case of Vaccine side effects for themselves or others and they will receive a timely response.
“the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is working closely with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) response
“An App known as MED-SAFETY App was launched; it is available for free on Play store for Android devices and Apple Store for IOS devices. With this App, any individual can report vaccine side effect for him or herself, or on behalf of another person, and will receive timely response.
“There are also other pharmacovigilance measures in place to monitor and respond to AEFI cases throughout the country. So far after more than three million vaccinations, 13,267 people have experienced mild to moderate side effects, while 4,708 have experienced moderate to severe side effects
“It is however important for me to repeat that Nigeria has not recorded any case of death directly linked to COVID-19 vaccination.
“Cases of mild, moderate and severe reactions that have been recorded are expected from normal vaccination, and people who experienced any of these have since recovered and are doing well. Therefore, we should not allow the fear of side effects to discourage us from taking the vaccine, as the long term benefits of getting vaccinated far outweighs the risk of brief side effects.
Faisal revealed that at present, data shows that 2,099,568 people have gotten their first dose of vaccine and 1,005,234 person have taken their second dose
He also revealed that the timeline for the closing date to take the second dose has been extended to July 5th as they are aware of the constraints of time
“As of today, June 24th 2021, our data shows that 2,099,568 people have been vaccinated with their first doses while 1,005,234 have received their second doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
“You would recall that the government reopened administration of first dose to address increase in vaccine demand by people who were yet to be vaccinated at all. This resulted in the increase in number of clients vaccinated with the first doses.
“We understand the constraints of time arising from our various economic and social engagements and because of that, we decided to extend the administration of second dose of the vaccine until 5th of July 2021.
“You would recall that the initial closing date for second dose administration was 25th of June, 2021.
“Even though we have extended the timeline for the second dose administration until 5th of July 2021, however those who have received their first dose no later than May 13th are advised to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose as soon as possible, for full protection against COVID-19
“Furthermore, we continue to receive requests from Nigerians who have taken the first dose of the vaccine outside the Country but want to take the second dose back home. They should walk into the nearest designated health facility to receive the jab. Health workers are hereby requested not to turn them back”
Faisal said great frustration has been experienced regarding the global vaccine supply. He said Not only have there been huge challenges with respect to vaccine manufacturers producing enough vaccines for the world, but there also has been great inequity in terms of distribution.
But now, the Rich nations of the world are showing greatly increased recognition as Just a few days ago, the U.S. White House reconfirmed it will send an initial 80 million doses internationally by the end of this month, with additional shipments which continues to ramp up.
These supplies and other large donations of vaccines to COVAX are now planned will enable COVAX to supply new consignments to Nigeria and other nations who need vaccines now.
Faisal disclosed that administration of first dose has been reopened and persons who are 18years and above who haven’t received their jab should seize this opportunity to get themselves, family members and members of their community to get vaccinated and protected against covid-19.
He assured them that before the due time for their second dose, another consignment of the vaccines would have been received and available for their second jab
Faisal advised those who have gotten their first dose to go ahead and take their second dose, he also made the disclosure that full vaccination does not exempt one from adhering to covid-19 rules and regulations.