The Nigerian government has reopened the administration of the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in various parts of the country.
This takes effect from Tuesday, according to the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib.
“Recall that we officially closed the vaccination for the first dose on May 24, 2021. Since then, we have been inundated with requests by Nigerians to be vaccinated,” he told reporters on Tuesday in Abuja at a briefing to update Nigerians on the status of COVID-19 vaccination.
Shuaib added, “In response, we have decided to reopen vaccination for the first dose from today.
“This means anyone 18 years and above who has not been vaccinated should visit the nearest vaccination site for the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
He explained that such persons would be due to receive their second dose of the jab in 12 weeks, noting that Nigeria would have received the next consignment of vaccines.
The NPHCDA boss noted that dedicated teams have continued to make strides in the vaccine rollout, working hand-in-hand with the local communities all across the country.
As of June 15, he disclosed that the agency has administered 1,978,808 and 680,345 first and second doses of the vaccine respectively.
Shuaib called on all Nigerians who have received their first dose to check their vaccination cards for the date of their first dose.
He asked them to ensure that they receive the second dose between six and 12 weeks from the date they took the first dose, to gain full protection against the COVID-19 virus.
The NPHCDA boss stated that in some cases, the location of the second dose could be different from that of the first dose.
“I, therefore, urge all Nigerians who have received their first dose at least six weeks ago to visit the nearest vaccination site to receive their second dose, for full protection against COVID-19 on or before June 25 when we shall close the administration of the second dose,” he pleaded.