Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Honourable Minister of State for Health

COVID-19: Why Nigeria directs states to stop vaccinations halfway ─Minister

*The Federal Government discloses the directive to halt vaccinations in states across the federation became necessary since the country is not sure when next the second batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine will come

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

For fears the arrival of the next the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine in view of the current shortfalls in vaccine supplies by the producers, the Federal Government has explained that it directed the states administering the COVID-19 Vaccine in Nigeria to stop the exercise the moment they use half of the doses allocated to them.

Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora, Honourable Minister of State for Health, stated this development at a media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Tuesday, April 6 in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister stressed that the directive became necessary since the country is not sure when next the second batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine doses will arrive the country.

Dr. Mamora said the decision was made in order for those who have received their first jabs to be able to complete their vaccinations.

On the directive to states to vaccinate half of the doses earlier deployed to them, the Minister said: “That is true. We believe that in a situation where, we still cannot specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive.

“Then, I think wisdom on dictates that, it’s better for us to vaccinate people fully. And so that we can say that we have a pool of citizens that have been fully vaccinated, since this vaccination comes in two doses.”

He stated: “So that’s what gave rise to that directive, rather than just going ahead with just single dose when the full dose should be two doses of the same.

We felt that it was proper for us in the circumstance to ensure that those who have been vaccinated have been fully vaccinated. I mean, by the time we fully utilise doses available, thank you very much.”

In a related development, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General of Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), was quoted to have assured that the health agency was investing the reported blood clotting in some individuals that have taken the first jabs of AstraZeneca Vaccine.

Dr. Ihekweazu said: “There have been ongoing investigations that we’ve all be following on the suspected link between the AstraZeneca Vaccine to certain rare experience of blood clotting in individuals in Europe.

“Those investigations are still ongoing, right. Not all European countries are adopting the vaccines for their populations.”

He further noted that “in Nigeria with every vaccine, we have a parallel system to measure and to monitor any side effects.

“That is ongoing and is being managed by the National Agency for Food Drugs (NAFDEC) in collaboration with National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and we will continue to monitor patients in Nigeria.”

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