Nigerian government has revealed that it is expecting to receive additional 3.92 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Assess Facility (COVAX).
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this during a media briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Shuaib said the doses of vaccines are expected in the country latest by August, 2021.
“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92m doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca by the end of July or early August,” he said.
Nigeria had commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5, 2021, having received approximately four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX, a UN-backed effort that promises access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population
Nigeria on March 21 received another 300,000 doses of the same vaccine from telecom giant, MTN. On April 6, the government of India also delivered 100,000 doses of Covishield vaccines to Nigeria bringing the total number of vaccines in stock to about 4.4million.
Due to limited doses of vaccine, the Nigerian government announced a pause in the vaccine rollout once half of the about 4.4million doses in stock were exhausted to forestall out-of-stock situation when those already vaccinated start coming back for their second doses.
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is given in double doses. A person is required to come back for a second shot, some weeks after taking the first jab.
Vaccination so far
Mr Shuaib said 1,978,808 of the targeted eligible Nigerians have so far received their first dose of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
He noted that 680,345 people have also proceeded to receive the second dose of their vaccines.
He said; “I will once again remind those listening that we are advising all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose and ensure that they receive the second dose between 6-12 weeks after their 1st dose to gain full protection against COVID-19.
“Please note that in some cases the location of your second dose may be different from your first dose, so please be sure to confirm this.”
As of June 15, Nigeria has recorded 167,078, COVID-19 cases. Out of which 2,117 fatalities had so far been registered in the country.
First dose vaccination
Mr Shuaib said the administering of the first dose of vaccines officially resumes Tuesday after it was initially closed on May 24,2021 due to shortage of vaccines.
He added; “Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on 24th May 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with requests 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.”
Mr Shuaib also said research from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92 per cent susceptible to Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccines.
He said it is comforting to know that the vaccine used in Nigeria can protect against this variant that is causing high morbidity and mortality in India.
“However, it underscores the need for us to ramp up our vaccination to more Nigerians,” he said.
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