The Federal Government of Nigeria has ask for the cooperation of all states currently administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the people of the states should stop the exercise the moment they used up to half of the doses allocated to them
This was disclosed on Sunday, April 4 by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaibu who stated that all the states should suspend vaccination when they reach half of the doses delivered to them.
It was learnt that the Federal Government’s action followed the possible delay the second batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Nigeria may probably face and since the vaccine jab are given twice to single person, the remaining half should be given to those that have got the first shot of the vaccine
This implies that states where 100,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were allocated to, should suspend vaccination exercise the moment it remain 50,000 doses in their respective storage, so the remaining half will be use to complete the first phase of the exercise
The shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the international market is caused by a surge in the demand by the European Union and a new policy by India which manufactures the vaccine. India had said last week that it would prioritise domestic vaccination for its over 1.2 billion citizens, thereby causing a shortage in developing nations like Nigeria.
While speaking with punch correspondent, the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, said states were asked to stop vaccination halfway until more vaccines arrive because it was the smartest thing to do since it is a double-dose vaccine.
“On the issue of stopping at half doses, we thought this is what wisdom dictates because in a situation where we seem to be in short supply, it stands to good reason to ensure that those who have had their first dose should be given the opportunity of having the second dose.
“It is better to have a pool of people who have received full vaccination rather than just do it halfway for everybody, which I think would not be the best in the circumstance. And you are not really covered if you have your full dosasa” Mamora said
When asked when Nigerians should expect more vaccines, Mamora said he could not say as the vaccine is currently a ‘sellers’ market’.