By Hassan Zaggi
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has opened vaccination for the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
This is for those who were not part of the first phase of the vaccination in which those who participated are currently taking their second dose.
The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, Tuesday.
According to him: “In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today.
“This means anyone 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“For such persons, their second dose will be due in 12 weeks and by then we would have received the next consignment of vaccines,” he said.
Shuaib further disclosed that Nigeria will get close to 4 million doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca by the end of July or early August.
“We now have information that Nigeria will get 3.92m doses of Oxford/Astrazeneca by end of July or early August. As we receive additional information on the exact dates in August, we will provide an update regarding timelines and details of this,” he stressed.
While disclosing that his agency had so far administered 1,978,808 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 680,345 second doses, Shuaib advised those who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose and ensure that they receive the second dose between 6 – 12 weeks after their 1st dose to gain full protection against COVID-19.
“Please note that in some cases the location of your second dose may be different from your first dose, so please be sure to confirm this,” he said.
He reiterated the commitment of his agency to continue to discuss with and educate Nigerians on the relevance of taking the vaccine and staying safe.
“We are fully committed to going to communities to discuss directly our vaccine effort, the importance of staying safe and protected against COVID-19 and answering questions people have. We have been really grateful for the high levels of participation and interest in these events.
“We are confident that through continued awareness raising, we will be able to keep communities safe and healthy,” he noted.
The NPHCDA Executive Director, however, warned that there has been a rise in COVID-19 cases in several African countries recently.
He, therefore, charged all Nigerians to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Wearing a face covering over your nose and mouth in public spaces can save lives.
“A curfew remains in place from midnight until 4am every day. Indoor gatherings must be limited to 50 people, and are only permitted if all attendees abide by social distancing and wear face masks.“And the government has introduced restrictions on incoming travel from high-risk countries and quarantine requirements to keep Nigerians safe. With a virus like COVID-19, we each must do our part to keep our communities safe,” he advised.