Following outstanding success recorded with the first phase of vaccine roll out, the country has hinted its preparedness to welcome the next batch of Covid-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib gave the hint at a joint media briefing of the WHO, UNICEF and NPHCDA today in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria gathered that the 2% of vaccines; about 80, 480 doses not administered was attributed to malhandling, and not that they expired as speculated.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shuaib said: “Nigeria has successfully vaccinated 3,938,945 eligible persons across 36 States and FCT, representing 98% utilization of the 4,024,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine it received from COVAX facility in March 2021.
“This comprises of 2,534,205 people who have been vaccinated for first dose, and 1,404,205 who have received their second dose of the vaccine.
“In the course of this exercise, the country recorded 14,550 cases of mild/moderate Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI), with only 148 cases considered to be severe. However, we did not record any case of death associated with COVID-19 vaccination,” he said.
The NPHCDA boss announced that the country has officially ended the first phase of its strategic COVID-19 vaccination plan and hence is now prepared to commence the second phase in the next few weeks.
Going further, he revealed that the country will be receiving the following supplies:
“3,924,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca by end of July or early August 2021 from the COVAX facility 3,930,910 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech COVID-19 vaccine in August from the COVAX facility donated by the United States Government 3,577,860 doses of Pfizer-Bio-N Tech COVID-19 vaccine in Q3 from the COVAX facility
29,850,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson (Jassen) COVID-19 vaccine by the end of September, that will arrive in batches from the African Union Commission,” he said.
He also revealed that NPHCDA was putting in place all necessary logistics for storage, distribution, security, and accountability for the range of vaccines being expected.
“To this end, the Federal Government of Nigeria has procured 60 units of U701 ultra cold chain equipment, and as we speak, about 37 of them have been deployed to all the 36 States and FCT in preparation to receive all COVID-19 vaccines that would require ultra-cold temperature of below 40 to 85 degrees.
“Furthermore, with the leadership of Eminent Nigerians, the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies are continuing the process of supporting our local partner, Biovaccines Nigeria limited towards establishing local vaccine production,” he said.
He explained that everyone 18 years and above was eligible to take COVID-19 vaccine, including pregnant and lactating women.
To this end, he called on every eligible person to register and ensure they make themselves available for vaccination on due dates.
Also speaking, the UNICEF country representative, Peter Hawkins commended the NPHCDA and Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 for the successful vaccine roll out and cited contributory factors to the feat. This included:
The vaccination network Nigeria already had in immunisation programs against polio and other diseases, Decentralised nature of Government in Nigeria; all states plus FCT were administering the vaccine concurrently, Decision making was based on data; they administered vaccines to those who needed it the most, hence minimising wastage.
The WHO country representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi commended the accuracy with which Nigeria administered the vaccines received from the Covax facility and said it was a reference point to other African nations on how to successfully roll out vaccines.