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FG records increase in COVID-19 vaccination, extends administration of second jab

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By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja

Federal government has extended the timeline for administration of the second dose of the vaccine to 5th July 2021.

The administration of the second dose of the vaccine was initially fixed to terminate by the 25th of June this year.

Addressing journalists at the weekly press conference on the COVID-19 vaccination update in Abuja, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaib said the essence of the extension is to accommodate everyone who have received the first dose and are due for the second dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

He said, “We understand the constraints of time arising from our various economic and social engagements and because of that, we decided to extend the administration of second dose of the vaccine until 5th of July 2021.

“Even though we have extended the timeline for the second dose administration until 5th of July 2021, however those who have received their first dose not later than May 13th are advised to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose as soon as possible, for full protection against COVID-19”.

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This week there is an increase in the number of clients vaccinated with the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (2,099,568). This according to the Executive Director is due to the reopening of the administration of the first dose as requested by Nigerians. 1,005,244 have also received the second dose of the vaccine so far.

The Executive Director said although there have been challenges in the global vaccine supply; there is hope for the shipment of more vaccines to Nigeria.

“We have experienced great frustration regarding the global vaccine supply. Not only have there been huge challenges with respect to vaccine manufacturers producing enough vaccines for the world, but there also has been great inequity in terms of distribution. Most countries of the world have received few, and in some cases no, vaccines. This is a problem that needs to be solved urgently and we are communicating this very clearly to our international partners on behalf of Nigerians.

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“Recently, we are encouraged by the swell of contributions and pledges from major nations into COVAX. Rich nations of the world are showing greatly increased recognition that there must be more supply produced and it must be distributed much more fairly, and they are becoming active in solving this. Just a few days ago, the U.S. White House reconfirmed it will send an initial 80 million doses internationally by the end of this month, with additional shipments continuing to ramp up thereafter.

“These supplies and other large donations of vaccines to COVAX that are now planned will enable COVAX to supply new consignments to Nigeria and other nations who need vaccines now.

Dr Faisal added that Nigerians who have taken the first dose of the vaccine outside the Country but want to take the second dose back home should walk into the nearest designated health facility to receive the jab.

He further enjoined everyone including those who have received the second dose of the vaccine to continue to adhere to precautionary measures for full protection against the virus.

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“Full vaccination does not exempt people who have received their second doses of the vaccine from observing the infection prevention and control measures. It is very important for everyone, including those who have received their second doses to continue to wear face masks and observe other non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Please let us take advantage of this opportunity to get ourselves, our families and communities protected by going to get your jabs and kindly encourage others who are 18 years and above to do so as well. This set of people should be rest assured that by the time they are due for their second doses, we would have received another consignment of the vaccines” he added.

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