A file photo of a medical doctor receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at the National Hospital in Abuja on March 5, 2021.
The Federal Government has begun to administer the second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to eligible persons in the country.
A total of 4,683 people have taken the second jab, said Dr Faisal Shuaib who is the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).
He made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja at a press conference to update Nigerians on the status of the vaccination exercise.
Shuaib noted that the agency has almost completed administering all first doses as of Monday.
According to him, 1,929,237 Nigerians have been captured so far, representing 96 per cent of the targeted population.
“We are advising that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose, and ensure that they receive the second dose to gain full protection against COVID-19,” he said.
The NPHCDA chief added, “As we transition to administering second doses, our teams have assessed the communication and mobilisation activities that have been undertaken thus far to create awareness for the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage uptake.
“We will be building on the work we have already done in these areas to ensure that Nigerians can easily access accurate information about COVID-19 vaccination.”
He explained that the objective was to do everything possible to educate, combat misinformation, and ensure confidence in the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and ensure all Nigerians have clear information on how, where, and when to get the vaccine.
Shuaib gave the assurance that the agency would continue engagement and communication with communities across the country, noting that the success recorded with the first dose was the collective efforts of all stakeholders.
He, however, acknowledged the challenges of vaccine supply in the global community, hinting that Nigeria may receive the next consignment of vaccines by end of July or August, although the information has not been officially confirmed.
“When we are able to, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of the next shipment. At present, we do not have that information available due to the wider context we are in. However, we can update you on some positive developments.
“Pfizer and BioNTech pledged on Friday of last week to provide one billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to low-and-middle-income countries by the end of 2021, and another one billion doses in 2022,” the NPHCDA chief disclosed.