Increases the vigilance of newly emerging variants
Vaccinations 1,173,869 people
From Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
The PSC of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has raised concerns about the emergence of new variants of the novel coronavirus, but assured that the federal government remains vigilant to ward off any threat.
It happened when the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) announced that Nigeria had recorded 8,711 cases of mild vaccine side effects and 52 cases of moderate to severe side effects.
It was also announced that the federal government has signed 28 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is expected to be dispensed in late May.
The chairman of the PSK and secretary of the government of the SGF Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who announced this in Abuja on Monday, said the country is still not out of the woods and urged Nigerians to hold out a little longer.
“If there are examples from other countries, we are still in the woods,” he explained.
Mustapha, speaking during the PSC briefing in Abuja on Monday, added that existing measures against the pandemic would be maintained.
The SGF added that over 1.17 million people have now been vaccinated.
He said; “The importance of the foregoing measures is underscored by the fact that several worrying variants emerge from different jurisdictions and can be imported into Nigeria. We continue to use science and data to address these cases. The PSK will include steps in our subsequent briefing to stop the importation of these cases into Nigeria.
“The vaccination program continues, but we still have reasons to step up our campaign against hesitation. As of this writing, records show that we have vaccinated 1,173,869, representing 58.3% of the Eligible Individuals affected at the current stage who received the first dose of the Astra Zeneca vaccine. In our opinion, this is low.
“For some time now, the situation between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates has been managed in terms of travel requirements. I am pleased to announce that we have reached a mutually acceptable, comfortable position.
“You will remember that we also informed the Nigerians that three international entry points (Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu) will be reopened. Kano has reopened while Port Harcourt and Enugu are almost ready. The main concern of the PSC is the availability of the infrastructure for Port Health Services, ”added Mustapha.
Health Minister Dr. For its part, Osagie Ehanire called for continued compliance with all non-pharmaceutical interventions, saying Nigeria had expanded surveillance in all ports of entry to avoid importing the emerging variants.
While urging Nigerians not to travel to countries whose epidemiological situation is less desirable, Ehanire said that even countries that have managed to vaccinate at least 25 percent of their population are still very prudent and struggling with the pandemic contain.
“The cases in India, Turkey and Brazil are worrying because of their demographic similarity to Nigeria and the fact that they are currently experiencing what is known as the third wave,” Ehanire said.
The Director General of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu said while “pandemic fatigue” is not unexpected, Nigerians cannot forget where they are from. “We cannot afford another major outbreak like the one we are seeing in some countries now,” he said.
The Executive Director of the National Agency for Primary Health Care Development, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib said Nigeria is aware of the current vaccine shortage and has only given 50 percent of its allocation in anticipation of an invalid late supply to guarantee a second dose for those who took the first.
He said the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC is currently in talks with vaccine makers and evaluates their products in the hope that global regulators can use their vaccines in case of an emergency.
Vanguard News Nigeria