Nigeria is gearing up to resume the vaccination of people against COVID-19 as it expects another shipment of 3.92 million AstraZeneca vaccine to arrive in the country between July and August.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed on Tuesday during a media briefing in Abuja that the Federal Government has resumed vaccination of the first dose in anticipation of the receipt of the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine.
Dr Faisai Shuaib noted “… Nigeria will get 3.92 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August. As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this.”
Shuaib said the Federal Government had commenced administering the first dose of the vaccine, but was earlier halted due to shortages and that recent research from Public Health England (PHE) showed that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92 per cent susceptible to Oxford/AstraZeneca.
That the vaccine used in Nigeria can protect against the variant that causes high morbidity and mortality in India is worthy of note.
“However, it underscores the need for us to ramp up our vaccination to more Nigerians.
“As you all are aware, hesitancy towards the second dose is very tied to the continued misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccination programme globally and locally,”
He urged the media not to relent in bringing to bear on COVID-19, “the sheer patriotism and professional prowess you demonstrated in our collective and successful fight against polio in Nigeria.”
Shuaib added that the goal of government is to educate, combat misinformation and engender confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and to ensure all Nigerians have clear information on how, where, and when to get the vaccine.
While commenting on the outcome of the recent meeting of the G7 meeting, Shuaib said the leaders of major, rich countries were becoming increasingly aligned with the thinking that the inequities cannot continue.
On the final day of the summit, leaders committed to delivering at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world over the next year. While this will not close the enormous gap that exists today, it is a positive step and we welcome the new focus.”