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Health workers account for 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered in Nigeria – NPHCDA

NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) reports that 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to health workers since the vaccination was launched in March 2021.

NPHCDA Executive Director Dr. Faisal Shuaib told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday that other frontline workers account for 3.4 million COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country.

Shuaib disclosed that more than 20% of fully vaccinated people in Abia, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kwara, Oyo and Zamfara have taken their first booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

He said as of November 7, 2022, figures show that 51,397,212 of the total eligible people targeted for COVID-19 vaccination in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were fully vaccinated, while 12,584,955 of the total eligible people targeted were partially vaccinated.

He said that “COVID-19 vaccine is free, safe and effective”, noting that the country has four brands of COVID-19 vaccine received from COVAX facility and African Union namely: AstraZeneca, Moderna , Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Vaccines.

“A booster dose is the extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccine taken after the full dose of any brand of the vaccine for extra protection against the virus. Therefore, for a two-dose vaccine, the booster dose will be the third dose.

“We all need a booster dose because as the COVID-19 virus continues to mutate, a booster dose is recommended to boost immunity and provide additional protection against emerging variants.

“There are adverse events after vaccination and they must be reported to designated people and platforms.

“The vaccine does not affect fertility. It is available and accessible to all eligible Nigerians. It does not modify the DNA.

The executive director also said the agency has implemented strategies to ensure COVID-19 vaccines reach the last mile and that the strategies are supported by partners to achieve the desired coverage across the country.

He said that “locations of armed conflict and hard-to-reach areas have been prioritized by NPHCDA and its partners.”

He added that to ensure that the agency’s strategies are up to date, the COVID-19 vaccination program is now strengthening the primary health care system using routine vaccination as an entry point.

He said that “the current approach for COVID-19 vaccine delivery known as the SCALES 3:0 Optimized Strategy involves the integration of the coronavirus vaccine with the current implementation.

“This means that parents and caregivers with children or wards aged zero to two are encouraged to bring their children to the COVID-19 vaccination site where childhood vaccines are available.

“While adults are getting the COVID-19 vaccine, children are being assessed for their due antigen and vaccinated, so
making vaccination family-friendly. We believe this will further motivate eligible people, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“Go to the nearest CSP to find out about the vaccination schedule today,” he advised.

He therefore urged healthcare workers to provide accurate information on the benefits of vaccination when providing the vaccination schedule to parents and caregivers. (NOPE)

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