The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination will begin this week, on Tuesday, August 10, in the country.
The announcement was made after the federal government received over four million doses of the Moderna vaccine donated by the US government last week.
A statement signed by spokesperson to the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Willie Bassey read;
“The PSC has received over four million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the U.S. Government to Nigeria.
“In view of the above, the inoculation is scheduled from Tuesday, Aug. 10, at the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, off Airport road, Abuja.”
Nigeria started giving COVID-19 vaccination on March 5, 2021, having received approximately four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines from COVAX.
To achieve herd immunity against the infection, Nigeria had set an ambitious goal of vaccinating 40 per cent of its over 200 million population before the end of 2021, and 70 per cent by the end of 2022.
To achieve this, “the vaccine roll-out will be in four phases, starting with health workers, frontline workers, COVID-19 rapid response team, laboratory network, policemen, petrol station workers and strategic leaders,” the head of Nigeria’s immunisation agency, Faisal Shuaib, had said.
He said the second phase would capture older adults aged 50 years and above and those with comorbidities aged between 18 and 49 years of age. According to him:
“Phase 3– Those in states/LGAs with high disease burden and who missed phases 1 and 2, and Phase 4 will include other eligible populations as vaccines become available.”
Vaccination so far
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is given in double doses. A person is required to come back for a second shot, some weeks after taking the first jab.
The four million doses of vaccines received in March led to the successful vaccination of 3,938,945 eligible persons across 36 states and FCT, representing 98 per cent utilisation of the vaccines, Mr Shuaib said.
He said 2,534,205 people have been vaccinated for the first dose and 1,404,205 have received their second dose of the vaccine.
Following the exhaustion of these doses, the Nigerian government announced the close of vaccination of the first batch.
However, with the delivery of the Moderna vaccines, Nigeria has said it will commence the second batch inoculation which includes older adults of 50 years and above.
While responding to questions on whether those who took the first dose of the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccines could take from the Moderna types just received, Mr. Shuaib said;
“That is not the recommendation of the WHO and that is not what we are going to be doing in Nigeria.
“For those who have taken the first dose of Astrazeneca, we are expecting in a week or so additional consignment of Astrazeneca vaccines that we will give as second doses.”
He added that the country is expecting about 700,000 doses in the coming week and another 3.9 million doses by mid-August.