The federal government Thursday said the COVID-19 second dose administration that was to end on June 25 has been extended by 10 days.
At a press conference held at the headquarters of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja, the executive director, Dr Faisal Shuaib, stated that government decided to extend the timeline because it recognises the constraints of time arising from various economic and social engagements of Nigerians.
Dr Faisal said: “You would recall that the initial closing date for second dose administration was 25th of June, 2021. Even though we have extended the timeline for the second dose administration until July 5th, those who have received their first dose no later than May 13th are advised to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose as soon as possible, for full protection against COVID-19.”
Dr Faisal also said the agency has decided to reopen the administration of the first dose for those who are yet to be vaccinated adding: “Please let us take the advantage of this opportunity to get ourselves, our families and communities protected by going to get your jabs and kindly encourage others who are 18 years and above to do so as well.
“This set of people should be rest assured that by the time they are due for their second doses, we would have received another consignment of the vaccine.”
Dr Faisal said after more than three million vaccinations, 13, 267people have experienced mild to moderate side effects, while 4,708 have experienced moderate to severe side effects.
While saying that Nigeria has not recorded any case of death directly linked to COVID-19 vaccine, he added that there were cases of mild, moderate and severe reactions. He said the reactions recorded are expected from normal vaccination and those who experienced such reactions have since recovered and doing well.
He urged Nigerians not to allow the fear of side effects to discourage them from taking the vaccine as the long term benefits of getting vaccinated far outweighs the brief side effects.
On theories that those who take the vaccine would die exactly two years after taking it, Dr Shuaib said there are evidences that the rate of mortality has reduced, adding that vaccine reduces possibility of death and hospitalisation.
He stated further that as of June 24th, the agency’s data shows that 2,099, 568 Nigerians have been vaccinated with their first doses while 1,005,234 have received their second doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.