The Nigerian Government has said a total of 8,439 cases of mild, adverse effects have occurred over the application of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country.
The cases, according to the government, came out of over a million persons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.
The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, NPHCDA, which disclosed this, explained further that 52 persons suffered moderate to severe adverse events at inoculation.
Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, speaking at a joint press conference with the World Health Organisation, WHO, on Friday in Abuja, said while the mild reactions included body pains, nausea, and swelling.
The moderate to severe adverse events presented were fever, vomiting, diarrhoea headaches, dizziness, and allergic reactions.
He said Kaduna State recorded the highest rate of AEFI with 970 cases, followed by Cross River State with 859 cases, Yobe 541 cases, Kebbi 511 cases while Lagos recorded 448 cases of adverse events.
Dr Shuaib, however, insisted that so far, there has been no case of death or blood clot recorded from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine vaccination in the country, he maintained that the vaccination rollout in the country has been marked by safety, efficiency, best practice, and speed.
He said, “When incidents, no matter how rare, appear in populations receiving the vaccine, relevant authorities must investigate to determine whether there may be a connection between the medical incident and the vaccine.
“At this stage, different countries are taking different approaches. In Nigeria, since the vaccination programme was officially rolled out on 15th of April 2021, a total of 8,439 mild Adverse events following immunization (AEFI) have been reported.
“There has been no death from the administration of the vaccine. We have also not diagnosed any case of blood clots related to the administration of the vaccines.
“Nevertheless, we are working with NAFDAC, NCDC, and other relevant agencies to set up a more active surveillance system built on our experience with polio surveillance.”
Shuaib, who disclosed that the challenges encountered in Kogi state have been resolved by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said 16,900 vaccines have been delivered and the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has been launched in the state.
Shuaib also noted that inoculation of frontline health workers has been completed in many states and vaccination has proceeded to the elderly particularly those within the age of 65 years and above.
He however expressed worry that some persons were skipping the eligibility lines to access the vaccines before it got to their turn.
“We are not unaware of attempts by individuals who are not eligible to access the vaccines. With willing accomplices, it will not be surprising that some may succeed.
“When people skip the eligibility lines we have established to access the C-19 Vaccines ahead of frontline health and other workers, then they should ask themselves if it is ethically and morally right to jump the queue ahead of those who need the vaccines the most.
“In anticipation of this, we have deployed structures and personnel to ensure these acts are minimized to the barest minimum. On this note, I wish to commend the Chairmen of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and their personnel for the enthusiasm and dedication with which they have joined our quest for vaccine utilisation transparency and accountability,” he added.