The Federal Government on Monday directed States to commence the second dose vaccination of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
It urged Nigerians who have taken their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose, bearing in mind the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended the expansion period for taking the second dose from 12 weeks to between 6 and 12 weeks.
The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, made these known during the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on covid-19 briefing in Abuja.
He said: “The covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria is ongoing as scheduled in all states. As of today may 10 2021, 1,690,719 people have been vaccinated, representing 84 percent of the eligible persons targeted with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. These people have been administered their first dose in this vaccination phase.
“We advise that people who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose, and ensure that they receive their second dose to gain full protection against covid-19.
“I want to remind you that the eligibility period of the first and second dose of the vaccine have been expanded from 12 weeks to between 6 and 12 weeks in line with the scientific recommendation provided by the WHO’s strategic advisory group of experts on immunisation.”
He added: “As we did during our polio eradication fight, we are strengthening our covid-19 vaccination campaign at the community level with town hall meetings across the country.
“We know that there is vaccine hesitancy and it is here in Nigeria just as it is present globally.
“What we have to do is exactly what is done everywhere else – to make sure that we put the correct information in front of all Nigerians.
“The number of side effects have not significantly grown beyond the numbers reported the last time, that is why I did not include them in my report. We are still way under 9,000 mild cases of adverse events following immunisation.”