The Presidential Task Force – PTF on COVID-19 has said it is aware of the increasing concerns about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, noting that Nigeria has suffered a major setback in the campaign to make citizens and residents take the jabs.
The PTF publicly denounced the advice from some prominent Nigerians who had been using the cases of side effects, especially in Europe to discourage their followers from accepting the vaccine.
The National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who was represented by the National Incident Manager, Dr Muktar Muhammad, made this known at the press conference of the task force on Monday.
Muhammad stated this as five more countries halted the administration of the vaccine because of the fear of the possible deadly side effects.
Recall that The Federal Government had on Thursday said Nigeria would continue to administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite its suspension by eight European countries.
On Thursday, eight European countries – Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Iceland, and Luxembourg – suspended all or part of its roll-out as a precaution while they investigated concerns relating to blood clots and other side effects caused by the vaccine.
The PTF warned Nigerians against capitalizing on the arrival of the vaccine in the country to flout the laid-down COVID-19 protocols, which include the use of face masks, observance of physical distancing at public events.
The task force also urged state governments to intensify efforts at enforcement of health regulations signed by the President “until we reach a certain point where we are comfortable with the level of immunity in the country.”
Muhammad said, “It is sad to note that some people of very high positions, particularly some political and religious leaders, have used this opportunity to provide misinformation to the public regarding the response and the efficacy of the vaccine.
“We urge them to please contact the relevant experts in the field before they make these pronouncements. Any pronouncement by a responsible political or religious leader to a gathering should be based on science and facts, and not just what they feel at that moment.”
Also on Monday, the Federal Government cautioned Nigerians to be wary of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as being experienced in some countries.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated these during a press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Over 8000 persons have received the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID – 19 vaccines, the Federal Government said on Monday.
The government also said it had not received any official report of serious adverse effects from any of those who have been vaccinated.
The Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, stated these during the press conference of the Presidential Task Force on COVID – 19.
“As part of the vaccine launch in the states that occurred last week, over 8,000 Nigerians have been administered the vaccine. We have not received any official report of serious adverse effects from any of those who have been vaccinated.”
Take Second Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine, UNICEF to Nigerians
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged those who received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, Astrazeneca vaccine, to take second dose for stronger immunity against the virus.
Mrs Elizabeth Onitolo, UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Specialists, made the call in Yola on Wednesday at a three-day media dialogue on Immunisation, Post-polio Certification and COVID-19 Vaccination.
The programme was organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in collaboration with UNICEF.
Onitolo urged those who were vaccinated to also observe the protocols to safeguard other people from the virus.
She said that there was need for people to get vaccinated and continue to abide by the protocols to curtail the spread of the virus.
Also, Mrs Lilian Okeke, Team Lead, African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) in Adamawa, said the vaccine was provided to save lives and not to harm anyone.
“Our concern is to save lives, you need to take those preventive measures to save your live and others,“ Okeke said.
She advised pregnant women to consult their doctors for medical advice before receiving such vaccine.
40,000 Residents in FCT Have taken COVID-19 Vaccination – Iwot
Acting Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Primary Healthcare Board (FPHB), Dr. Nda-Eyo Iwot, has announced that over 40,000 persons, living in the FCT have received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Iwot who disclosed this to journalists while monitoring the vaccination of FCT lawmakers, said the figure is part of the one million doses so far inoculated nationwide.
While speaking on the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the Secretary urged the residents to ignore conspiracy theories and fake news being pushed on social media, adding that no known adverse effect of the vaccine has been recorded.
He further explained that two of the five cases being spread around are not directly linked to the vaccine.
He also commended the law makers for publicly taking the vaccine.
BREAKING: Doctors suspend nationwide strike
Resident doctors have suspended their nationwide strike after 10 days.
Their president, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told The PUNCH on Saturday.
He said, “We suspended the strike about one hour ago. We are responsible to Nigerians, the government has acceded to some demands.”
Read Also: Wike bans meeting of Igbo group in Rivers
According to him, the strike was suspended after meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
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