Nigeria on Friday started the administration of COVID-19 booster shots, days after the Federal Government approved the decision.
“Following the detection of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Federal Government reviewed the country’s vaccination programme and resolved to introduce the booster dose using the Pfizer Bio-N-Tech vaccine across the country,” the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, said during the flag-off of vaccination for Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps. “This will take effect as from tomorrow, Friday the 10th of December 2021.”
At the event held in Abuja on Thursday, the NPHCDA boss also explained the eligibility criteria for the booster jabs.
“Eligibility for the booster dose includes being 18 years and above, fully vaccinated with either two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer Bio-N-Tech or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” he noted.
“The time interval before the booster dose is at least six months for these vaccines, except the Johnson and Johnson which is at least two months.
“This is another opportunity to be further protected. I, therefore, urge all those who have taken the right decision to be fully vaccinated, to walk into the nearest vaccination site for their booster dose as from tomorrow (Friday).”
According to him, while the country’s vaccination drive has faced several bottlenecks including “large-scale misinformation,” Nigeria has recorded some successes.
“Today, Thursday, December 9th, 2021, 7,361,810 Nigerians have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and this represents 6.6% of the eligible population,” Faisal said.
“3,846,762 eligible Nigerians have received their second doses and are fully vaccinated against the virus representing 3.4% of the eligible population.”
Earlier on Thursday, the US said it donated 2.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses to Nigeria, a move expected to further boost the pandemic fight in the country.
The vaccine doses arrived in Abuja this week and were received by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and taken to cold storage in preparation for distribution, the US Embassy in Nigeria said in a statement.
“Over the next several weeks,” it added, “the vaccines will be available at major markets, shopping malls, event centres, motor parks, airports, places of employment, and religious institutions as part of Nigeria’s mass vaccination campaign.”