COVID-19 immunisations in Nigeria as government receives 176,000 doses of J&J Vaccines

*The National Primary Health Care Development Agency explains the single-dose Johnson&Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines are meant for consumers who live in hard-to-reach areas, and can get fully vaccinated with the vaccine brand instead of other types of vaccines that are of two doses

*There is no confusion on which vaccines will be given to whom, says Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive of NPHCDA

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

In the continued effort at boosting Nigeria’s COVID-19 battle against the highly transmissible Delta variant sparking fears of a third wave of the pandemic in the West African country, Nigeria says it is expecting to receive 176,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 Vaccines Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

ConsumerConnect reports Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), confirmed this at a press conference Tuesday, August 10, in Abuja, FCT.

Dr. Shuaib stated that J&J COVID-19 Vaccine, like the AstraZeneca, is safe and efficient against the coronavirus disease, including the deadlier Delta variant.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director and CEO of NPHCDA

He noted the J&J Vaccine, which is a single-shot vaccine, is expected to boost Nigeria’s COVID-19 fight with the Delta variant sparking fears of a third wave of the pandemic.

Payment for 29million doses of J&J Vaccines

Shuaib also disclosed at the media briefing in Abuja, that Federal Government of Nigeria has made a 15 percent deposit for the procurement of the 29 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, which costs $7. 50 cents per dose.

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He explained that the Federal Ministry of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning decided to purchase J&J vaccines in order to reduce multiple trips and save costs.

Why multiple COVID-19 Vaccines for inoculation in Nigeria?

In connection with the multiple COVID-19 Vaccines for the national vaccination programme in the country, the Nigerian Government has allayed fear of the citizenry as it expects to take delivery of 176,000 doses of J&J Vaccine Wednesday.

ConsumerConnect reports the country thus far has received doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna, and now expecting Johnson & Johnson Vaccines.

It was learnt as apparent concerns mount over the dissimilar brands of vaccines being imported amid resurgence in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, NPHCDA also said the effort was in conjunction with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

It noted that NAFDAC has deployed tracking and tracing technology to monitor the four million doses of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at all health facilities where the vaccines would be administered.

COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria

Dr. Shuaib told reporters in Abuja, that rollout of the Moderna Vaccines begins Monday, August 16, just as Nigeria awaits the delivery of 176,000 doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) Vaccines out of the 29,850,000 doses that the Federal Government procured from the AFREXIM Bank through the African Union (AU).

Related: Nigeria receives 4million Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine doses from US Government

He further clarified that the doses are meant for people who live in hard-to-reach areas as this way, they can be given a single shot of the vaccines, and get fully vaccinated instead of other vaccine types that are of two doses.

According to him, the health agency has devised a strategy with partners so that there is no confusion on which vaccines will be given to whom, especially now that the country has started receiving different brands of COVID-19 vaccines lately.

Shuaib said: “We are aware that Nigerians would want to know if there is a preferred brand. Let me assure everyone that COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of brand, as long as they have been approved by NAFDAC, provide adequate protection against the disease. “We want to further assure Nigerians that we have strategised with our partners so that there is no confusion on which vaccines will be given to whom.”

He also noted: “For example, all those who have taken their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and are due for their second dose would be given their second dose this month of August as we are expecting up to 588,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from COVAX facility.

Read Also: Nigeria begins vaccination as NAFDAC certifies AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine safe for use

“This is the first batch that will be coming in the next couple of days, thereafter, we will be expecting up to 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to complement what we already have and to make sure we cover not only those who will be taking their second AstraZeneca vaccine but also for those who will want to take their first dose of this vaccine.”

Recall the NPHCDA Executive Director recently had announced that the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme would commence in the country August 16.

Earlier, the vaccination exercise had been scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 10, but it was postponed due to “unforeseen circumstances,” according to a spokesperson in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey.

The need for the rollout of the second batch of the vaccines has, however, become crucial as Nigeria gradually returns to seeing a spike in infections, according to report.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as of Monday, August 9, the country recorded 422 new cases of COVID-19, with five more deaths.

The NCDC disclosed the infections were recorded in nine states, and Lagos maintained the lead with 190 cases, followed by Rivers (86) and Ogun (85).

Others are Oyo (22), FCT (20), Kwara (7), Edo (5), Abia (4), and Bayelsa (3).

A total of 178,508 cases have been confirmed, 165,983 patients have recovered and 2,192 deaths have been recorded in 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

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