THE Nigerian government has said that 88 per cent of people who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the country were frontline and healthcare workers.
Executive Secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Faisal Shuaib stated this on Tuesday at a media briefing in Abuja.
He said the elderly took the remaining 12 per cent of the vaccine.
The ICIR reports that while healthcare workers comprise nurses, doctors, and other workers in health facilities who help manage the virus, frontline workers, as implied by Shuaib, consist of security agents, politicians, journalists, and other people considered by the government to fit into that category.
Shuaib said nearly two million people (1.956 million) had received the first dose of Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine in Nigeria.
Through COVAX Facility, a partnership between CEPI, Gavi, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigeria received its first shipment of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine on March 2 this year.
The shipment contained 3.9 million doses from the Serum Institute of India (SII), the vaccine manufacturer.
Nigeria began its vaccination against the virus on March 15.
The Nigerian primary healthcare chief said the country recorded 10,027 adverse effects from people who took the first jab.
He explained that cases of mild, moderate and severe adverse events following immunization (AEFI) ranged from pain and swelling at the site of vaccination to more severe symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, fever, dizziness and allergic reactions.
Nigeria reported 86 cases of moderate to severe incidents, adding that all people who reported adverse effects from the vaccine had since fully recovered, he noted.
Five States with the highest records of AEFI are: Cross River (1,040); Kaduna (1,071); Lagos (796); Yobe (555); and Kebbi with 525 cases.
Meanwhile, the NPHCDA boss urged support from the public as it continued with the second and last phase of the vaccination.
About 73,465 people had received the second dose of the vaccine across Nigeria, Shuaib said.
They include: President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who got their final jab last Saturday.
GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance through UNICEF in partnership with Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and NPHCDA donated $8 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to be used by the vaccinators.
“We continue to advise that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose and proceed to the same health facility where they got their first jab, to ensure full protection against COVID-19…
“We acknowledge the possibility of some people relocating from the states where they took their first doses. For this reason, we have made provision for special vaccination sites that could accommodate administering their second doses.
“It is also possible that due to certain circumstances, some of the sites used for the first dose vaccination may no longer be available. In this case, you are kindly advised to go for your second dose at the nearest vaccination post. The list of the vaccination sites is available on our website (www.nphcda.gov.ng),” said the agency.
Meanwhile, the country will wait till between July and September to get additional COVID-19 vaccine through the COVAX facility, Shuaib stated.
He, however, explained that bilateral conversations were ongoing to obtain from surplus vaccines “being stockpiled by developed countries.”
He also said the Federal Ministry of Health was working with critical stakeholders to fast-track the establishment of local vaccine production plants in the country.