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NPHCDA opens special COVID-19 vaccination sites, says Executive Director

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The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says some special COVID-19 vaccination sites have been set up across the country.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja,

Shuaib said that the sites were set up to ensure that every Nigerian who had received the first jab completes the process.

“We acknowledge the possibility of some people relocating from the states where they took their first doses.

“For this reason, we have made provision for special vaccination sites that could accommodate administering their second doses,” he said.

He noted that some of these previous sites may also not be available due to some circumstances.

Shuaib advised Nigerians to visit the NPHCDA website (www.nphcda.gov.ng) to locate vaccination posts close to them for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The NPHCDA boss also said that so far, 1,956,598 of the targeted eligible Nigerians have been vaccinated with their first dose of the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine.

He said out of the number, 66 per cent are frontline workers, 22 per cent are healthcare workers, while 12 per cent belonged to the elderly group.

He also said that 73,465 Nigerians including the president and the vice president have also received their second dose of the vaccine across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

He allayed the fears of Nigerians due to side effects of the vaccines.

”There have been cases of mild, moderate and severe adverse effects since the vaccination campaign was officially rolled out.

“These side effects include pain and swelling at site of vaccination to more serious symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pain, fever, dizziness and allergic reactions.

“A total of 10,027 cases of mild Adverse Event Following Immunization (AEFI) have been reported as of May 30″, while 86 cases of moderate to severe incidents have been reported. All these individuals have since fully recovered,” Shuaib said.

According to him, five states have the highest records of AEFI namely: Cross River (1,040), Kaduna (1,071), Lagos (796), Yobe (555), and Kebbi with 525 cases.

Shuaib added ” indeed  on my part, the side effects following the second dose was much less than the first dose.

“We continue to advise that all Nigerians who have received their first dose should check their vaccination cards for the date of their second dose.

”They are to proceed to the same health facility where they got their first jab, to ensure full protection against COVID-19.

Also speaking, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) in Nigeria, representative, Dr Gupta Gagan, commended the NPHCDA and its leadership for the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Gupta said the challenges faced in the administration of the vaccine would be reaching out to citizens to go and receive their second doses.

“All those who have received the first dose should please go back for their second dose because if you don’t you should know that you are not fully protected.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, also commended Nigeria’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

He disclosed that other African countries are already looking up to Nigeria to learn how to roll out their vaccinations.

“Even though Africa is lagging behind, Nigeria is among the countries that is distributing the most COVID-19 vaccines.

“We know that in terms of volume we are still a long way to go because we have planned to vaccinate more than 100 million of our population.

”However, its already a good learning base on how we can effectively rollout the COVID-19 vaccination,” he added.

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