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AstraZeneca vaccine: Reported side effects in Nigeria are mild, says NPHCDA

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THE National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has said that reported side effects from the use of AstraZeneca vaccine in Nigeria have been mild.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mohammad Ohitoto, NPHCDA head of public relations, on Friday, following growing concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine across the world.

According to Ohitoto, NPHCDA was aware of the ‘precautionary concerns’ about a specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, namely ABV5300, saying that investigations had been launched into it.

“While we await the outcome of the investigations, it is important to clearly state that Nigeria did not receive any doses from the batch of vaccines which are at issue. Vaccinations in Nigeria started earlier this month and we have not observed any similar adverse reactions. All side effects reported by those who have been administered the vaccine have been mild,” Ohitoto said.

He added that the NPHCDA was satisfied that the clinical evidence certifying Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine safe and effective, stressing that Nigeria’s assessment was in line with countries such as Spain and the UK who had indicated that they would continue to administer the vaccine.

The statement read that the safety of vaccines delivered to Nigeria was paramount to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which had led to enhanced multi-sectoral collaboration among stakeholders and technical entities, including the World Health Organisation (WHO).

NPHCDA further stated that it would continue to monitor the developments regarding the ABV5300 batch and would share further information as it became available.

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“In the meantime, we encourage Nigerians who are among those being prioritised in the current phase to continue their confidence and enthusiasm for our vitally important national vaccine programme. Together, we can save lives,” the statement read in part.

The ICIR had reported how some European countries and Thailand suspended the administering of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to reported cases of blood clot death.

Europe, Denmark, Iceland and Norway have stopped administering the AstraZeneca vaccine as investigations have commenced into the cause of the reported cases. Italy has also suspended a batch of the vaccine.

Latvia and Austria said they would stop using doses from a separate batch of the vaccine, ABV5300, which had been linked to death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism in Austria.

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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