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April 12, 2021

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Nigeria vaccinates over 500,000 people

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Over 500,000 Nigerians have received their first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, data released by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) shows.

As of Sunday, 513,626 eligible Nigerians have been vaccinated in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The data, published on Sunday evening, shows that Kogi State is yet to commence vaccination against the virus which has infected about 162,000 people in the country.

The head of the agency, Faisal Shuaib, had at a recent briefing said Kogi was not supplied with the vaccines because their cold store is still under repairs following vandalisation during the EndSARS protest.

Data shows that Lagos, the epicentre of the disease in Nigeria, has vaccinated 110,042 people; making it the highest in the country.

This is followed by Ogun with 47,507, Kaduna-38,063, Bauchi- 32,482, Katsina- 28,918, and Kwara- 26,473.

COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATE

The states with the lowest number of vaccinated people are Abia-22, Taraba-111 and Kebbi-532,

Vaccination campaign

Having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines in early March, Nigeria commenced vaccination beginning with healthcare workers who are often at the risk of exposure to infections being the first responders to patients.

The country recently received another 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from telecom giant, MTN, as part of the latter’s contribution to Africa.

The Nigerian government had announced its plan to vaccinate 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.

Health authorities said only eligible population from 18 years and above will be vaccinated.

To achieve this, “the vaccine roll-out will be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders,” Mr Shuaib said at the briefing.

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“Phase 2 – Older adults aged 50 years and above. Those with co-morbidities aged 18 – 49 years of age

“Phase 3 – Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2.

“Phase 4 – Other eligible population as vaccines become available.”

Although there has been controversy over the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which prompted some countries to suspend its use, Nigeria has chosen to continue the rollout of the vaccines, saying it is safe for use.

The World Health Organisation and European Medicines Agency (EMA) have also declared the vaccine safe.

EMA said it would continue to study possible links between very rare blood clots and the vaccine.

No Nigerian has declared any serious side effect from taking the vaccine, Mr Shuaib said.

As of Saturday night, Nigeria has recorded 162,489 COVID-19 cases and 2,041 deaths, according to an update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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