The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has called on Nigerians to continue to take the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Addressing reporters on Tuesday in Abuja, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, stated that the vaccine was not only effective but was capable of protecting people against the Indian variant of the virus.
“Recent research from Public Health England (PHE) shows that the Indian (Delta) variant B.1.617.2 is 92% susceptible to Oxford/AstraZeneca,” he said at the briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib added, “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. However, it underscores the need for us to ramp up our vaccination to more Nigerians.”
He announced that the Nigerian government has reopened the administration of the first dose of the vaccine effective from Tuesday, in response to requests by Nigerians to be vaccinated.
The NPHCDA boss noted that the vaccination for the first dose was officially closed on May 24 and appealed to persons of 18 years and above that were yet to take the jab to visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the vaccine.
He explained that such persons would be due to receive their second dose of the jab in 12 weeks, noting that Nigeria would have received the next consignment of vaccines.
The NPHCDA boss said dedicated teams have continued to make strides in the vaccine rollout, working hand-in-hand with the local communities all across the country.
As of June 15, he revealed that the agency has administered 1,978,808 and 680,345 first and second doses of the vaccine respectively.
Shuaib called on all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose.
He asked them to ensure that they receive the second dose between six and 12 weeks from the date they took the first dose, to gain full protection against the COVID-19 virus.