FIRST BATCH OF 4 MILLION DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINES ARRIVES NIGERIA ON TUESDAY: THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT AZD1222 VACCINE AGAINST COVID-19
Nigeria is set to receive the first batch of the COVID-19 Vaccines tomorrow, March 2, 2021. 4 Million doses are expected to be in the country with the hope that it marks the beginning of the government’s plan to vaccinate 40% of the population by the end of the year. This batch of the vaccine, also known as the AZD1222, was developed by Oxford University (UK) and AstraZeneca.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has already set up an online registration platform to control traffic at the centres that have been marked to administer the vaccination.
Register here: www.nphcdaict.com.ng/publicreg/
As Nigerians prepare for the vaccines, here are a few things to know:
1. AZD1222 vaccine against COVID-19 was developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical & biopharmaceutical company (headquarters in Cambridge, England).
2. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the vaccine has an efficacy of 63.09% (95% CI.81;71.73) against symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
3. The trial was carried out in the UK, Brazil and South Africa, where participants received 2 standard doses.
4. WHO has recommended that While vaccine supplies are limited, it is recommended that priority be given to health workers at high risk of exposure and older people, including those aged 65 or older.
5. Vaccination can be offered to people who have had COVID-19 in the past. But individuals may wish to defer their own COVID-19 vaccination for up to six months from the time of SARS-CoV-2 infection to allow others who may need the vaccine more urgently to go first.
6. Vaccination can be offered to breastfeeding women if they are part of a group prioritized for vaccination. WHO does not recommend discontinuation of breastfeeding after vaccination.
7. While pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe COVID-19, very little data are available to assess vaccine safety in pregnancy.
8. People with a history of a severe allergic reaction to any vaccine component should NOT take it.
9. The vaccine is NOT RECOMMENDED for persons younger than 18 years of age, pending further studies.
10. No substantive data are available related to the impact of AZD1222 on the transmission of viral shedding. In the meantime, we must maintain and strengthen public health measures that work: masking, physical distancing, handwashing, respiratory and cough hygiene, avoiding crowds, and ensuring good ventilation.