Says it has not dumped AstraZeneca vaccine
Directs states to halt vaccination after 50% coverage
By Chioma Obinna
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, on Thursday revealed that the country has vaccinated over 2 million people against COVID -19.
The NPHCDA National Supervisor for Adamawa State, Abba Mohammed Bawa who disclosed this at a Three-Day Media Dialogue in Yola, said although the data on the official server put the number of vaccinated Nigerians at 1.043,737 as of 14th April 2021, the current number of eligible vaccinated persons at the facility levels have crossed two million.
Stating that the country was committed to ensuring that every eligible Nigerian get vaccinated in good time, he explained: ”We have two sources of data. We have the call in-data which is data that we received at the facility level. We have the one in the NPHCDA server. We are working on uploading the remaining data from the facility levels. These are raw data from the field that has not been processed. The difference is currently being processed.”
He further disclosed that States have been directed to halt vaccination the moment they cover 50 per cent of the vaccines given to them.
“The federal government in its wisdom said states who have reached 50 per cent should stop vaccinating and this is because initially, we had the idea that we are going to have more vaccines in-country but considering the global shortage now, we are saying when the states get to 50 per cent coverage of whatever they were given they should stop so that those who have taken the first dose will get their second dose of the vaccine.”
He further disclosed that the federal government was currently giving priority to specific people like the pilgrims.
”We all know that if you have not received the vaccines you will not be allowed to go for pilgrimage. And if you are given a vaccine we don’t have in Nigeria it might really be a problem when you come to Nigeria.
Although the official data show that we have vaccinated over 1.3 million, we have the call-in data which Nigeria is also using but however, we have vaccinated over 2 million people.
Responding to questions on the fate of Nigerians who have been given the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, he said the country still has vaccines donated by the Indian government, and the one million donated by a prominent philanthropist gave Nigeria.
”We have some donations here and there. We have other states that may not even utilize that 50 per cent. So the states that have utilized over 50 per cent, we are going to push those vaccines to complete those who have overshoot theirs. And when the Johnson & Johnson vaccines come, we are going to push it to the states.
“However, if you have been given AstraZeneca vaccine, it has to be AstraZeneca so that you will not have any complications.”
He further debunked the media report that Nigeria was dumping the AstraZeneca vaccine for Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
”We are not dumping Astrazeneca vaccine rather they will compliment each other.
”We may even have the Pfizer in the country and we have to use both at the national and sub-national levels.”
On the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the United State, Mohammed Bawa said for every vaccine or drug administered there are side effects and it varied from persons to person. Vaccines are usually stable but in one out of 100,000 cases there might be one severe case.
Continuing he said: the coverage for Adamawa state as of today was 31, 000 plus and what they have in the server was about 18,000 persons.
“We are going to reconcile what we have in the server and the figures coming in.”
He said from their experience so far the public has accepted the COVID-19 vaccine although there was hesitancy to the vaccine initially.