The Nigerian government on Tuesday received 100,000 doses of Covishield COVID-19 vaccines from India.
This will boost the number of Nigerians to be vaccinated by about 50,000, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said at the committee’s weekly briefing on Tuesday.
Nigeria commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 5 having received 3.94 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, a UN-backed effort that promises access to vaccines for up to 20 per cent of participating countries’ population
The vaccination started with healthcare workers who are often at the risk of exposure to infections being the first responders to patients.
Nigeria also received another 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from telecom giant, MTN, as part of the latter’s contribution to Africa.
The Nigerian government had announced its plan to vaccinate 109 million people against the COVID-19 virus over a period of two years.
Health authorities said only eligible population from 18 years and above will be vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccination has also commenced in all states across the country except Kogi which has yet to receive doses for the vaccines.
As of April 5, 2021, 963,802 persons, in Nigeria, had received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to Mr Mustapha.
The COVISHIELD is a brand of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. It is used in over 71 countries including the UK, Canada, India and Brazil.
The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness.
When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection, the BBC reported.
The jab is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart.
It can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C, about the same as a domestic refrigerator.
Clinical trials show that the vaccine has a 76 per cent efficacy rate against symptomatic COVID-19 and is 100 per cent effective in stopping severe infection.