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COVID-19: Why states were directed to halt vaccination halfway – FG



By Abujah Racheal

The federal government explained why it had asked all states administering the COVID-19 vaccine to stop exercise when they were using half of their allotted doses.

Minister of State for Health Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora gave the explanation at Tuesday’s press conference of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja.

Mamora explained that the directive became necessary because the country was not sure when the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine would arrive in the country.

He said it was also to allow those who had received their first vaccine to be able to complete their vaccination.

According to him, it is true, the directive stipulates to vaccinate half of the deployed doses.

“We think in a situation where we still can’t specifically determine when the next batch of AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive, then I think wisdom dictates that it’s best for us to fully immunize people.

“And so, we can say that we have a pool of citizens who have been fully vaccinated, since this vaccination comes in two doses.

“So that’s what gave rise to this directive, rather than going ahead with one dose when the full dose should be two doses of the same.

“So we felt it was appropriate for us in the circumstances to ensure that those who were vaccinated were fully vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the managing director of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, assured that the agency was investigating the blood clotting reported in some people who had taken the first AstraZeneca vaccine.

Ihekweazu said: “There have been ongoing investigations that we are all following into the suspected link between AstraZeneca vaccines and some subsequent blood clotting experiences in individuals in Europe.

“These investigations are still ongoing. Not all European countries adopt vaccines for their populations.

“In Nigeria, with each vaccine, we have a parallel system to measure and monitor side effects.

“This is ongoing and is managed by the National Agency for the Administration and Control of Food Medicines (NAFDAC) in collaboration with the National Agency for the Development of Primary Health Care (NPHCDA).

“We will continue to monitor patients in Nigeria. You know, every demographics is different, the demographics of taking vaccines in every country is different, the interplay between the different drugs that people take.

“So there are many circumstances that need to be fully assessed, we will look at the data ourselves here in Nigeria and I will take the necessary action.

“So I think for now we can be sure that we have an effective vaccination program underway. And we are very sensitive to the concerns of Nigerians, I will respond to them if necessary. “

Additionally, NPHCDA CEO Dr Faisal Shuaib clarified that the AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson vaccines cannot be administered by the same person.

Shuaib was responding to a question about the possibility of taking the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in a case where the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine was not available.

He said, “I mean, it’s not fair. You cannot take the AstraZeneca on your left and Johnson and Johnson on the right. It must therefore be the two doses of AstraZeneca and one shot of Johnson and Johnson.

On the reported side effects of AstraZeneca, he said: “I think we have said several times here, that there are side effects of these vaccines, the side effects of the vaccines are not unique to the COVID vaccine. -19.

“So one thing we keep telling vaccinators is that even before people take the vaccines, they need to be made aware of the potential side effects.

Meanwhile, Mr. Boss Mustapha, President of the PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary of the Federation Government, said officials at level 12 and below will continue to work from home.

He said it was because there were certain red flags that needed to be investigated further.

SGF said the PTF would inform the Federation’s head of civil service when the time was right for their return.



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