…Covid-19 vaccines are safe-Faisal
By Hassan Zaggi
A study conducted that by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has shown that no death was recorded as a result of the uptake of the COVID-19 in the six states of Anambra, Borno, Edo, Katsina, Lagos and Plateau.
The Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, Thursday, said that this is a testament that the COVID-19 vaccines were safe.
“The overall aim of the observational study was to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in enrolled adult individuals 18 years and above who have received the authorized COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria for the purpose of safety signal detection.
“This study was led by Prof Akin Osibogun, a Professor of Community Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital.
“The study sought to estimate the incidence of adverse events following immunization with different brands of the COVID-19 vaccine in all enrolled immunized subjects.
“Findings of this study showed that 52.6% of enrolees (1,284 were enrolled) reported non-serious adverse effects and only 1 subject or 0.08% reported serious adverse effect in the first week following vaccination.
“None of the enrolled subjects who reported adverse effects required hospitalization. The commonest reported symptoms among vaccines were tenderness at injection site 20.9% and fever 20.3%. Most of the reported symptoms (55.5%) occurred within the first 3 days of vaccination while 40.2% of the vaccinees with reported symptoms could not recall time of onset of symptoms.
“Adverse Effects Following Immunization were reported more in the older age groups with 61.5% of those older than 60years reporting symptoms compared to 34.9% of those aged 18-24 years.
“The difference for age was statistically significant (p=0.003). Those with pre-existing morbidities were also observed to have higher rates of reported symptoms (AEFIs) than those without pre-existing morbidities even though the observed difference was not statistically significant (p=0.551).
Shuaib further explained that: “The findings suggest that from the perspective of public communication, the vaccine is quite safe and the reported symptoms are mild and to be expected in the first three days following vaccination.
“Older vaccinees are to be particularly counselled as to what to expect and not to panic as the symptoms are mild and time limited. During this study, there was no report of Vaccine-induced COVID-19 or deaths related to the vaccines.”
He, however, revealed that in line with his agency’s commitment to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine uptake, it has put in place plans for the establishment of mass vaccination sites across the country.
“The objective of this strategy is to vaccinate a high volume of individuals through large sites such as Federal institutions (universities, polytechnics), shopping malls, religious centers, sporting events, conference centers, and markets etc.
“This will require strong collaboration between NPHCDA, State Governments, religious bodies, school authorities and governing bodies of malls and large sporting events.
“As we expand the vaccination sites, we encourage all eligible Nigerians to avail themselves for vaccination.
“I am also glad to inform you that we have commenced the process of decentralizing COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, to include private health care providers. This is to expand access and increase utilization of the vaccines,” he said.