COVID19 Headline Health News Nigeria Special Report

FG releases study outcome on the effect of Covid Vaccine

A study by National Primary health care development agency (NPHCDA) has shown that Covid Vaccine neither induces the Virus nor lead to death.

The study was done in Six States of the Federation (Anambra, Borno, Edo, Katsina, Lagos and Plateau).

With the overall aim of monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in enrolled adult individuals 18 years and above who have taken the authorized COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria.

Led by Prof Akin Osibogun, a Professor of Community Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, the study sought to estimate the incidence of adverse events following immunization with different brands of the COVID-19 vaccine in all enrolled immunized subjects.

Briefing newsmen at the weekly COVID 19 vaccination update in Abuja, the Executive Director of the NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuiab said out of   1,284 enrolled in the study, 52.6% reported non-serious adverse effects while only 1 subject or 0.08% reported serious adverse effect in the first week of the vaccination.

‘’None of the enrolled subjects who reported adverse effects required hospitalization. The commonest reported symptoms among vaccines were tenderness at injection site 20.9% and fever 20.3%. Most of the reported symptoms (55.5%) occurred within the first 3 days of vaccination while 40.2% of the vaccines with reported symptoms could not recall time of onset of symptoms’’. He said.

 Dr Shuiab stated that the study revealed more adverse effects on the older age groups with 61.5% of those above 60years reporting symptoms compared to 34.9% of those aged 18-24 years, while those with existing comorbidities also had serious side effects from the vaccines.

According to him ‘’The difference for age was statistically significant (p=0.003). Those with pre-existing morbidities were also observed to have higher rates of reported symptoms (AEFIs) than those without pre-existing morbidities even though the observed difference was not statistically significant (p=0.551). The findings suggest that from the perspective of public communication, the vaccine is quite safe and the reported symptoms are mild and to be expected in the first three days following vaccination. Older vaccinees are to be particularly counselled as to what to expect and not to panic as the symptoms are mild and time limited.

Dr Faisal also stated the planned decentralisation of Covid vaccination to private health facilities and setting up of mass vaccination points  across the country in  line with the NPHCDA commitment to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine uptake by Nigerians.

The objective of this strategy is to vaccinate a high volume of individuals through large sites such as Federal institutions (universities, polytechnics), shopping malls, religious centers, sporting events, conference centers, and markets etc. This will require strong collaboration between NPHCDA, State Governments, religious bodies, school authorities and governing bodies of malls and large sporting events. As we expand the vaccination sites, we encourage all eligible Nigerians to avail themselves for vaccination. I am also glad to inform you that we have commenced the process of decentralizing COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria, to include private health care providers

 While explaining further the modalities for the decentralization of Covid vaccination, the Executive Director explained that it will not affect the Federal Government’s free vaccination policy and the free issuance of vaccination cards after vaccination.

He said that measures are being put in place for full supervision and monitoring of the private health facilities to be involved in Covid vaccination. 

According to Dr Shuiab erring health facilities will be sanctioned, including blacklisted, while soliciting the help of Nigerians to ensure the  decentralization does not compromise the current standard of  COVID-19 vaccination  in the country.

Dr Shuiab equally spoke on the decisions taken by the   Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) to protect the most vulnerable people, and also ensure that the work place is safe for all citizens.

On availability of the COVID 19 vaccines, Dr Shuiab said Nigeria will have adequate vaccines to cover more than 50% of eligible populations by the end of the first quarter of next year.

We have already done a comprehensive analysis and forecast of COVID-19 vaccines. We have enough vaccines to cover more than this population of Federal Government employees and we are expecting even much more. Based on delivery forecasts from the COVAX facility and the African Union, In order words, please do not worry about the availability of vaccines, we have the supply chain figured out.

We are cognizant of the fact that some unscrupulous elements would want to get the card and not the jab.

Dr Shuiab urged  all Nigerians, to  continue to wear  masks and observe other preventive protocols to enable the country  curtail  the  pandemic.

 The  UNICEF representative  Dr Opiyo Nixons said this week’s data shows a drastic improvement from last week’s Covid vaccination in the County.

Dr Opiyo Nixons urged Nigerians to be committed in the fight against  the  pandemic through getting  vaccinated,  wearing of  face masks, and observance of all  non-pharmaceutical protocols,

According to NPHCDA, as of the 14th of October 2021, a total of 5,246,523 eligible populations have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, which represents 4.7% of the target population.

While eligible persons fully vaccinated in Nigeria till date is  2,546,094 which represents 2.3% of the  target population.

Maureen Ike