THE second dose of COVID-19 vaccine has kicked-off in no fewer than 17 states.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy Prof Yemi Osinbajo received their second jabs of AstraZeneca vaccine at the State House over the weekend.
Vaccination of eligible Nigerians started in Lagos, Katsina, Benue, Nasarawa, Rivers, Bauchi, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kano, Ekiti, Adamawa, Cross River, Osun, Delta, Borno, Abia, Bayelsa and Ogun.
According to the COVID-19 vaccination update from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), 44,220 Nigerians had received their second dose, representing 2.2 per cent of the proportion of eligible persons who took part in the first phase of vaccination exercise.
A total of 1,952,694 Nigerians got their first dose in the nationwide vaccination exercise, which started in March.
Lagos (313,433), FCT (131,146), Kano (94,925), and Kaduna (93,012) lead in terms of states that vaccinated the highest number of persons with the first dose across the country.
Four hundred and forty thousand of the 1,929,237 vaccinated are health workers, NPHCDA Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said at a news briefing on COVID-19 vaccination last week. However, the Lagos State Government vowed to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate the oncoming of a possible third wave, as seen in countries with similar experiences.
According to Lagos State Health Commissioner, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said the Centre of Excellence needs more than ten times of the number of the 507,000 doses allocated to it by the Federal Government.
“Given the requirement for achieving herd immunity (60% of total population vaccinated), Lagos State still needs to vaccinate about 14,000,000 (14 million) people to reach this target, as is actively happening in many parts of the world, to collectively eradicate this global pandemic.
Therefore, the government is considering several channels, including discussions with the Federal Government and the private sector, to ramp up the vaccination numbers.
For anyone to be fully vaccinated, two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine are required with an interval of 6-12 weeks.
The second dose will be administrated on working days (Monday to Friday) across our approved 88 health facilities till the 9th of July 2021. I, therefore, implore citizens who have received their first dose to proceed to the health facilities where they got their first dose on their scheduled appointment dates, which are clearly stated on the vaccination card that was issued. They are also advised to avoid overcrowding and overwhelming the health workers by staggering their arrival at the vaccination site from between 8a.m. to 1p.m. I would like to reiterate that every vaccinated person should visit the health facility where they got their first dose with their vaccination cards so that the process is seamless, and their data accurately captured,” Abayomi said.
In Ekiti State where the second dose will start today, the government said it will ensure a seamless administration of the exercise for people that had taken the first shots.
Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, has received the second jab of the COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine with a call to the state residents to make themselves available for the exercise.
Lalong, who received the vaccine at the Government House, Rayfield, alongside his wife, Regina and other government officials, said the fears earlier expressed by some citizens on the safety of the vaccines have not been proved and no adverse effect has been recorded among those who took the first dose.