The Nigerian government has stated that no adverse reactions have been observed in those who have received the COVID-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that began rolling out on March 5.
Nigeria took delivery of 3.92 million doses of the vaccine on March 2 and flagged off its vaccination campaign by administering the first vaccine to health care workers in Abuja.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), in a fresh statement, has noted that the batch of vaccines received by Nigeria is not part of the batch which showed side effects as reported in a number of countries in Europe.
Countries such as Norway, Denmark and Bulgaria have suspended the vaccine rollout after a number of those who received the shot reported blood clots, while Spain stated the vaccine will not be administered to those between the ages of 55 and 65 until further investigations were conducted.
“We are aware of precautionary concerns that have been raised regarding one specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, namely ABV5300.
“We understand that investigations are being conducted to determine if the batch is in any way linked to an observed side effect.”
“While we await the outcome of the investigations, it is important to clearly state that Nigeria did not receive any doses from the batch of vaccines which is at issue. Vaccinations in Nigeria started earlier this month and we have not observed any similar adverse reactions. All side effects reported by those who have been administered the vaccine has been mild,” the agency said.
NPHCDA reiterated its confidence in the vaccine being safe and effective and will continue to monitor any developments which may arrive concerning the ABV5300 batch which Nigeria received.
“In the meantime, we encourage Nigerians who are among those being prioritised in the current phase to continue their confidence and enthusiasm for our vitally important national vaccine programme,” the agency added.
HumAngle had reported that the government planned to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of Nigerians aged 18 and above, prioritising frontline and other essential workers, while also launching an e-registration website for all eligible Nigerians to register for the vaccine.
As of March 11, Nigeria has recorded 159,933 coronavirus cases with 2001 deaths.