About 122,410 Nigerians have received jabs of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, said on Monday.
Mr Shuaib while speaking at the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said Nigeria has not recorded any serious adverse reaction following the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
“So far, 122,410 people have been vaccinated with Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine in Nigeria,” he said
“No Nigerian so far has developed any known severe side effect, while we have observed that there might be some mild symptoms like pain and swelling at the site of the vaccination, body pains and mild fever.”
He explained that one can take the vaccine and have other diseases that are completely unrelated to the vaccination process.
Mr Faisal noted that the agency will continue to collaborate with the NAFDAC ‘pharmacovigilance team’ to monitor the administration of the vaccine and document any adverse reactions.
This, he said, is to assure Nigerians that the government is honest and transparent in its choice of the vaccine to protect the citizens against the virus which has claimed over 2,000 lives in the country.
Nigeria in early March received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVAX facility, led by the World Health Organisation, and has commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers and other provides of essential services.
The country also received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from telecom giant, MTN, on Sunday, according to the Chairman of PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha.
There has been controversy over the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
Last week, authorities in Austria said they halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines while investigating the death of one person and the illness of another after taking the shots, according to Reuters.
In a swift move, over a dozen countries including Germany, France and Italy, said they were halting the use of the vaccine or some particular batches of it.
However, countries like Germany and France have since reversed the suspension following confirmation by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that the shot is safe and effective against the virus.
Amidst safety concerns, some high-income countries like the UK and developing countries such as Nigeria and Ghana have chosen to continue the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
At the Monday briefing, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said representatives of the Nigerian government met with an AstraZeneca team last week and the outcome was a reassurance of the safety and efficacy of the vaccine against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Mr Shuaib said COVID-19 vaccination has commenced in 33 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“Full implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination of eligible population has commenced in over 33 states and the FCT while four states (Kogi, Kebbi, Zamfara and Oyo) are yet to commence implementation,” he said.
He, however, said Kebbi State had plans to flag off the vaccination campaign today.
He said there are reports of alleged vaccine mismanagement at some vaccination sites including Police Clinic, Falomo, in Lagos State.
“This is currently being investigated and we understand from the Lagos State Government that a report would be made available today,” he said.
He said decisive action will be taken against anyone found culpable of subverting the vaccination process.
Mr Shuaib had announced that all Nigerian states except Kogi have received doses of the Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
He said Kogi State was not supplied with its portion of the vaccines due to a lack of adequate storage facility.
“Kogi State was not supplied with the vaccines because their cold store is still under repairs following vandalisation during the EndSARS protest,” he said.