The Federal Government will today (Friday) begin the administration of booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Faisal Shuaib, stated this on Thursday in Abuja as the Africa Centre for Disease Control, an agency of the African Union, kicked against the introduction of booster doses in African countries.
Nigeria had on March 5, 2021 commenced COVID-19 vaccination with a total of 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX institute of India.
This was followed by a vaccination break due to the ban of vaccine transportation by the Serum Institute of India, the main supplier to the COVAX facility.
In August, Nigeria resumed her second phase of vaccine with donations of moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines which were received through donations from foreign countries.
The country also received several doses of the J and J vaccine which it procured through a joint partnership with other African Union countries through the AVATT facility.
So far in Nigeria, only a total of 3,867,815 have been fully vaccinated with a total of 7,449,989 taking the first dose.
The Nigerian government had also mentioned its plan to vaccinate about 70 perc ent of its population by 2022, a move which experts had doubted following the country’s low vaccination rate.
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 a few days ago directed vaccinated Nigerians to go for booster doses following detection of three cases of Omicron variant of the virus in the country.
Before the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced the cases, Canada had said it detected the variant in three persons with travel history to Nigeria.
The North American country subsequently placed a travel ban on Nigeria.
Other countries that have placed travel ban on Nigeria include the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
In Abuja on Thursday, Shuaib stated, “The Federal Government reviewed the country’s vaccination programme and resolved to introduce the booster dose using the Pfizer Bio-N-Tech vaccine across the country. This will take effect from tomorrow, Friday the 10th of December 2021.
“It is pertinent to reiterate the fact that the Nigerian COVID-19 vaccination programme is science-driven. Evidence has shown that the booster dose further increases protection against the virus.
“Eligibility for the booster dose includes being 18 years and above, fully vaccinated with either two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer Bio-N-Tech or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The time interval before the booster dose is at least six months for these vaccines, except the Johnson and Johnson which is at least two months.
“This is another opportunity to be further protected. I therefore urge all those who have taken the right decision to be fully vaccinated, to walk into the nearest vaccination site for their booster dose as from tomorrow (Friday).”
A coronavirus booster vaccine dose helps improve the protection after receiving the first two doses.Follow us on social media