The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Friday said 8,439 persons across the country have reported mild side effects after they received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the executive director and CEO, NPHCDA, said this at a press conference by NPHCDA and World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday in Abuja, on the status of the COVID-19 vaccination in the country.
“Out of over a million persons given the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, 8,439 persons have suffered mild Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI), and 52 persons moderate to severe adverse events on receiving the jab.
“While the mild reactions include body pains and swelling, the moderate to severe adverse events presented were fever, vomiting, diarrhoea headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions,” he explained.
Shuaib said there had been no death from the administration of the vaccine and no case of blood clots related to the administration of the vaccines in the country.
The NPHCDA boss listed the five states with the highest records of side effects as Kaduna (970), Cross River (859), Yobe (541), Kebbi (511), and Lagos (448), noting that investigation is ongoing to verify the nature of the symptoms.
Speaking further, Shuaib explained that the government has reviewed the timeframe for eligibility for the second dose in line with recommendations by WHO.
According to him, the plan is to ensure that the first phase of vaccination is completed before the expiration date in July.
He added, “Furthermore, as a result of this overall programme review to meet the challenges of global vaccine demand and supply mismatch, and the late commencement of the vaccination in some states, we are expanding the eligibility period between the first and second doses of the vaccine from 12 weeks to between eight to 12 weeks.
“This is still in line with the scientific recommendation provided by the World Health Organisation’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE on immunisation) that the two doses of the vaccine be given at an interval of eight to 12 weeks.”
Nigeria took delivery of 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, an UN-backed effort that promises access to free vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population.
Since the rollout began on March 5, more than one million Nigerians have received the first dose of the vaccine.