FG Assures Nigerians of Astrazeneca Vaccine Safety

AstraZeneca Vaccine

The Federal Government has assured its citizens that there is no cause for fear regarding the batch of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to the country recently.

The government insists that Nigeria did not receive any dose from the batch of vaccines in contention, adding that all side effects reported so far in Nigeria had been mild.

This assurance was given by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in a statement on Thursday by its Head of Public Relations Unit, Mohammad Ohitoto.

The reassurance became necessary following reports that countries in European Union including Denmark, Iceland and Norway have suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine after reports of blood clots among some people who had received the vaccine.

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Though no evidence had been linked to taking the shot as reason for the blood cloth but the countries took the action as a precaution pending when investigations are concluded.

Blood clots, if large, can damage tissue or organs like the lungs, heart or brain. Severe cases can be fatal, but people with small clots can often be treated outside of a hospital with prescription drug.

To allay these fear, the Executive Director, National Primary Health-Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuiab said, “We are aware of precautionary concerns that have been raised regarding one specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, namely ABV5300. We understand that investigations are being conducted to determine if the batch is in any way linked to an observed side effect.

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“Vaccinations in Nigeria started earlier this month and we have not observed any similar adverse reactions. All side effects reported by those who have been administered the vaccine have been mild.

“We are satisfied that the clinical evidence indicates the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective. Our assessment is in line with countries such as Spain and the UK who have indicated that they will continue to administer the vaccine, because it remains an important tool to protect against COVID-19.

“The safety of vaccines delivered to Nigeria is paramount to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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“For this reason, it has enhanced multi-sectoral collaboration among stakeholders and technical entities such as the FMOH, NPHCDA, NAFDAC, WHO and UNICEF whose cooperation ensures the highest global standards are met for vaccines delivered to Nigeria before they are distributed to Nigerians.

“Clear, rigorous protocols are being followed to safeguard the health of Nigerians.

“We are continuing to monitor the developments regarding the ABV5300 batch and will share further information as it becomes available.

“In the meantime, we encourage Nigerians who are among those being prioritized in the current phase to continue their confidence and enthusiasm for our vitally important national vaccine program. Together, we can save lives.”

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