By Modupe Shodeinde
The National Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), disclosed that Nigeria is scheduled to receive 3.92 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine by August.
Faisal Shuaib, executive director of the NPHCDA while speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, said the federal government is working on ensuring that more people are vaccinated.
According to him, 1,978,808 first doses and 680,345 second doses of the vaccine have been administered across Nigeria. He added that due to requests, vaccination of the first dose which had been closed has now been reopened
“I, therefore, urge all Nigerians who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose, for full protection against COVID-19 on or before 25th June when we shall close the administration of the second dose,” he said.
“Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on 24th May, 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with request by Nigerians to be vaccinated. In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today. For such persons, their second dose will be due in 12 weeks and by then we would have received the next consignment of vaccines.
“We now have information that 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.”
Noting that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in some African countries, Shuaib implored citizens to adhere to the safety protocol.
“Wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives. A curfew remains in place from midnight until 4am every day. Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks,” he said.
He, however, expressed delight that “recent research from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92% susceptible to Oxford/Astrazeneca”.
“It is therefore comforting to know that the vaccine used in Nigeria can protect against this variant that caused high morbidity and mortality in India,” he added.