8,000 Nigerians have received COVID-19 vaccine – PTF

8,000 people have been vaccinated across 35 states, including the federal capital territory (FCT), the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 has said.

Speaking on Monday during a media briefing, Faisal Shuaib, executive secretary of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said only Kogi state is yet to receive the vaccine because its cold chain facility for preservation of the doses is under repair.

Shuaib also maintained that there is no cause for alarm over the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite its suspension by some European countries.

He noted that the vaccine has been approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation (WTO) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

“We are working closely with NAFDAC to monitor any unusual adverse reaction to the vaccine. In addition to other measures that we have outlined for the vaccine to roll out, NAFDAC has introduced a safety app for people to download and install on their phones,” Shuaib said.

“I want to assure Nigerians that the federal government, through the PTF on COVID-19, is fully committed to a safe and successful COVID-19 vaccination in the country. No safety and efficacy standard has been compromised in the decision of government to introduce the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

“The vaccine was approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation, and was tested and certified as safe and effective for use in Nigeria by NAFDAC.

“It is important to note that none of the approved brand of COVID vaccines is inferior. Understandably, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine relatively cost less than the other available brands of COVID-19 vaccines.

“However, this is not because it is inferior. It is because AstraZeneca, which partners with Oxford to produce the vaccine, decided and announced that they would not be making profit during this pandemic. So, from a humanitarian point of view, they decided that they will sell at their cost price.

“As you well know, the AstraZeneca vaccine is being used in many parts of the world. Even after the rollout suspension by some European countries over certain concerns raised, the World Health Organisation and its vaccine advisory committee has advised that there is no reason to stop using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Similarly, the UK regulators have also determined that evidence does not suggest that the vaccine causes blood clot.”

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