By John Ikani
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency NPHCDA says more than one million Nigerians have received the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, NPHCDA Executive Director, Dr Faisal Shuaib said 2,099,568 people have been vaccinated with their first doses, while 1,005,234 have received their second doses of the vaccine.
Shuaib who said the agency has extended the timeline for the administration of second dose by 11 days, — from June 25 to July 5 — urged those who received their first doses before May 13 to go to any centre to get the second dose.
“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,” he said.
According to him, among those who have received the first and second doses, only 13,267 people reported mild to moderate side effects, while 4,708 experienced moderate to severe side effects.
He said the side effects should not discourage anyone from receiving the vaccine, adding that those who experienced it have all recovered.
“The cases of mild, moderate and severe reactions that have been recorded are expected from normal vaccination and people who experienced any of these have since recovered and are doing well,” he said.
“Therefore, we should not allow the fear of side effects to discourage us from taking the vaccine, as the long term benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risk of brief side effects.
“It is important to repeat that Nigeria has not recorded any case of death directly linked to COVID-19 vaccination.”
As of June 24, Nigeria has confirmed 167,375 cases of COVID-19, and while 163,917 have recovered, 2,118 deaths have been recorded.