COVID-19: NPHCDA Says No Adverse Effects From Vaccine

COVID-19: NPHCDA Says No Adverse Effects From Vaccine

Even as apprehension dogs the application of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been put on hold in many European countries owing to rising cases of blood clot, resulting in some deaths, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says it has not received any official report of serious adverse effects from the 215,277,

Even as apprehension dogs the application of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been put on hold in many European countries owing to rising cases of blood clot, resulting in some deaths, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says it has not received any official report of serious adverse effects from the 215,277, people who have received the first doses of the jab.

NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, reveals on the agency’s official Twitter handle:

“As you are aware, AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed to all states except Kogi and the first phase of our vaccination focusing on frontline health workers and others on essential duties have begun in earnest.”

He said that the 215, 277 vaccinated people were from 32 states and the Federal Capital Territory, disclosing that no vaccination has been recorded in Kebbi, Zamfara, and Oyo States.

“Kogi is yet to receive vaccines because its cold chains for the preservation of the vaccines are under repair,” he said.

The agency said that the proportion of Nigerians vaccinated is 5.5 percent and that it proposes to vaccinate 70 percent of the eligible population by 2022 to reach herd immunity and exit the pandemic.

While it stated that five states have the highest number of vaccination with  Lagos getting 58,461, followed by Bauchi with 23,827,  Jigawa – 20,800, Ogun – 19,257, and Kaduna -14,527, it noted that the state with the lowest vaccination figure was Ebonyi with 77 followed by Sokoto- 98 and Akwa Ibom with 127. The FCT where the vaccination was launched, has 8, 616 people vaccinated.

Precaution in Europe

Already, as a precautionary measure, several countries particularly in Europe have suspended the application of the vaccine over increasing cases of blood clot and some deaths, raising fear globally about its much touted efficacy but the Nigerian medical authorities have calmed the fright of the highly worried citizenry, saying the vaccine is safe

As at the last count, 17 countries in Europe including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Norway, Ireland, Iceland, Austria, Italy, France, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Luxembourg have suspended the vaccine. They are joined by Thailand, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Nigeria took delivery of nearly four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months.

The vaccines are being provided by COVAX, an unprecedented global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

COVAX aims to deliver over 1.3 billion vaccine doses to over 90 low- and middle-income countries by the end of the year, covering up to 20% of their populations.

The country also received 300,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from MTN Nigeria.

Upon arrival, all vaccine samples were handed to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), for further examination.

Massive Roll Out

The NPHCDA says it plans to vaccinate approximately 109 million Nigerians that will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination over the course of two years.

According to Shuaib, “We remain in anticipation of about 57 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility and the AU. Working with the States, the Federal Government plans to vaccinate all eligible population from 18 years and above, including pregnant women.”

“However, the decision to vaccinate any pregnant woman will be made in consultation with her healthcare provider. There will be considerations of whether she is at high risk of contracting Covid-19 or not.

”She is likely to be at high risk for example, if she is a frontline health worker, a support staff or a first responder in the different spheres of the security architecture of our country.

“This guidance is based on the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE). After excluding those that are under 18 years old, we plan to vaccinate approximately 109m Nigerians that will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination over the course of 2 years,” he said.

Shuaib said that additionally, the Federal Government had received the commitment of 1,500,000 and 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca from MTN and Government of India respectively.

Eligible Population

“These eligible populations have been identified using the World Health Organisation (WHO) vaccine allocation framework and prioritisation roadmap, as well as the disease burden data from the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

“They are: the frontline healthcare workers, support staff; including those that work in high risk areas such as point of entry workers, rapid response teams, contact tracing teams, COVID-19 vaccination teams and strategic leadership.

“People aged 50 years and above and People aged 18 – 49 years, with significant co-morbidities and additional at-risk groups,” he noted.

The NPHCDA boss added that to facilitate the implementation process, the Technical Working Group (TWG) had come up with a strategy of pre-registration and scheduling of the target population to avoid over-crowding at vaccination posts.

TEACH Approach

“We have come up with a strategy called the TEACH approach, which will harness all the benefits of traditional, electronic, assisted and concomitant house-to-house registration to optimize the use of innovative technology.

“The TEACH approach entailed:

  • T: Traditional method of vaccinating target populations using desk review of available data sources, identifying the vaccination sites and rolling out
  • E: Electronic self- registration for health workers and the public; a link which provides an online form will be provided
  • A: Assisted electronic registration
  • C: Concomitant e-registration during walk in to fixed sites/health facilities
  • H: House-to-House registration using volunteers for additional push to rapidly increase the e-registration

“A URL link will be deployed for the electronic registration tool, which will be rolled out this week for healthcare workers, to register and appropriately schedule them for the COVID-19 vaccination,” he stated.

According to him, with the over 60,000 health workers providing routine immunization services nationwide, we recognize that the COVID-19 vaccine introduction certainly requires capacity building for this health workforce, but in addition to these, we would be engaging additional personnel, to achieve the coverage level we desire and also ensure best practice in vaccine handling and management.

Training Manual

He noted that consequently, the Federal Government through NPHCDA had developed a training manual for the COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

Shuaib said that the manual outlined a comprehensive scheme and measures to identify and develop micro plans for the target population; the development of an effective, efficient and equitable vaccination delivery strategy, while ensuring vaccine security, management and accountability.

“The plan is to train healthcare workers, supervisors and monitors at all levels in the next one to two weeks,” he added.

Shuaib also said that as part of the agency’s risk communication and demand generation strategy, it had organized a two-day training for over 1,500 LGA health educators and Community Orientation Mobilization Officers (COMOs) of the National Orientation Agency.

This was to enable them conduct community polling, track rumours and provided accurate information on COVIC-19 vaccine to community members, he added.

“We also continued our sensitization meetings with a wide range of stakeholders, which include the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN), the Soroptimist International, Nigeria group, and the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).

“They have all shown remarkable willingness to advocate for the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

He reiterated that Nigerians should be rest assured that the Federal Government through the PTF on COVID-19, was doing everything possible to mitigate the resultant complications of the COVID-19 on the health systems and economy.

“It is therefore important that we all collectively play our part and adhere to all the measures that are being rolled out to defeat this virus.

“On our part, we will continue to provide you with factual information about COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination process as things evolve. As soon as we get information about vaccine availability timelines, you will also get the same information,” he stated.

GAVI Alliance

The UK Government had said that the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) had announced that Nigeria would be one of the first countries to receive 16 million free doses of COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility.

The British High Commission Office in a statement said that the free doses would be received in the first half of this year.

It said that Gavi had shared the first forecasts of countries who would receive COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

According to the Commission, COVAX has allocated over 330 million doses for low and lower middle-income countries, including Nigeria.

“As one of the 92 ODA-eligible countries participating in the COVAX AMC initiative, Nigeria will benefit from this arrangement and access free vaccines to cover at least 20 per cent of its population, and the UK is playing a supportive role in ensuring an effective and equitable introduction of COVID-19 vaccines, “it said.

The commission said COVID-19 is a global pandemic that needed a global solution.

It said that the UK was at the forefront of tackling COVID-19 internationally and, so far had pledged up to 1.3 billion pounds from UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible.

It added that the aid would be used in championing access to vaccines for all countries, particularly the world’s poorest.

Collective Effort

The commission noted that UK was not doing this alone, adding that it was a collective effort with other international partners.

It said that in Nigeria, the UK is supporting an effective roll out of the vaccines through engagement and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders.

“COVAX is a global initiative to support the development, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines for up to one billion people by the end of 2021.

“COVAX is an international alliance co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization, with participation from over 180 countries.

“The UK is one of the largest donors to the COVAX facility and has committed 548 million pounds to the AMC, a scheme that leverages the scale assured by the participation of higher-income economies so that the lower-income countries are able to participate and access COVID-19 vaccines, “it said.

The commission also noted that UK was also one of the largest donors to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which has spent the past two decades expanding and updating cold-chain infrastructure and strengthening routine immunisation in lower-income countries.

It said the UK was a member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the roll-out of the National Deployment and Vaccines Plan (NDVP), led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and member of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 since it was established by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 9, 2020.

The British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, said: “This news on the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine roll out brings us one step closer to delivering vaccines to millions of Nigerians.

“I am pleased that Nigeria will get millions of these free doses by the end of 2021.

“The UK is playing a global role in promoting an effective roll out, including as one of the largest COVAX donors and through our engagement with the Nigerian-led response“, Laing said.

Flatening the Curve

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) the country recorded 214 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 162,076.

The NCDC disclosed this on its official Twitter handle on Tuesday.

In the past two weeks, Nigeria registered 3,414 additional COVID-19 infections, the lowest since the beginning of its second wave in December 2020.

In the penultimate week, (March 7 – March 13), there were 2,300 cases, a reduction when compared to the 2,817 recorded in the previous week (Feb. 28 – March 6).

Last week, (March 14 – March 20), 1,114 new cases were registered, representing over 1,000 reductions from the previous week’s figure of 2,300.

The 1,114 cases recorded last week were the lowest in four months the country had registered.

Nigeria’s public health institute, however, recorded one additional death in the last 24 hours bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 2,031.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 death rate reduced in the past two weeks with the country recording 66 deaths.

“49 deaths in the penultimate week (March 7 – 13) and 17 new deaths last week,” it said.

It stated that in the last 24 hours, Adamawa state reported 109 cases, Lagos 33, Bauchi 26, Kaduna 9, Rivers 9, FCT 7, Oyo 7, Gombe 5, Ebonyi 4, Osun 3, Ekiti 1 and Ogun 1.

The agency also disclosed that 405 people had recovered in the last 24 hours, from across isolation centers in the country.

The NCDC noted that the discharged included 157 community recoveries in Bauchi State, 121 in FCT, and 55 in Lagos State managed in line with its guidelines.

It also stated that the backlog of cases from Adamawa State recorded from March 10, were also registered.

“As of today, a total of 148,530 individuals have recovered from the novel coronavirus infection. The recovery rate, as such, is almost 92 percent of the country’s caseload,” it noted.

The NCDC said a multi-sectoral national emergency operations center (EOC), activated at Level 3, had continued to coordinate the national response activities in the country.

It said currently, there were 11,762 active cases across Nigeria, adding that it was an increase of 49 from 11,713 the previous day.

The country’s daily new cases continue to follow a downward trajectory; from an all-time high of 2,314 on Jan. 22, the daily new positive cases have come down to 86 as of March 21.

Also, in the last two weeks, the country tested 140,297 persons, showing that the country may be close to flattening the curve of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has tested 1,727,467 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 pandemic was announced on Feb. 27, 2020.


Posts Carousel

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Latest Posts

Top Authors

Most Commented

Featured Videos