The Federal Government stated on Monday that 88 percent of 4 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines supplied to the country a few months ago have been utilised so far.

It added that a combined number of 3,441,146 Nigerians have been vaccinated so far with their first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. First dose, 2,265,805, and second dose, 1,174,341.

Disclosing that the country’s vaccination rate is currently the best in Africa, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, stressed that no life has been lost following vaccination.

He stated these in Abuja during the briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19.

He said: “Eligible people who have not been vaccinated at all have the opportunity to receive their first dose.

“Recall that a total of 4,000,024 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine were received by the Federal Government in March this year; 3.924 million through the COVAX facility and another 100,000 doses from the government of India.

“I am glad to inform you that as of today 3,441,146 doses have so far been utilised for the first and second dose vaccinations. This is approximately 88 percent of the total vaccines that we received.

“The breakdown of the total number of people vaccinated and the vaccine consumption rate is as follows: 2,265,805 people vaccinated with the first dose; 1,174,341 people vaccinated with the second dose.

“Based on these data and comparative information from other countries, Nigeria continues to have the highest vaccination rates in Africa with approximately 87,000 people being vaccinated every day. Egypt, South Africa, Ghana, and Senegal each have a daily vaccination rate of 72,000, 52,600, 12,100, and 4,790 respectively. It is pertinent to note that as of today, there is no vaccine with an expiration date of June 28 that has not been utilised.

Dr. Shuaib added: “Although we have reported cases of mild, moderate, and severe reactions since our COVID-19 vaccination roll-out started. Only 125 severe adverse events following immunization cases were reported, while 13,663 mild-to-moderate cases have been reported. These are often expected reactions from normal vaccinations, and people who experienced any of these have recovered fully and are doing very well.

“With over 3 million people vaccinated, Nigeria has not recorded any deaths directly linked with adverse events following immunisation.

The Federal Government also yesterday urged Nigerians to be on strict preventive alert, as the threat of a third wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across Africa.

It stressed that the fact that the country has been recording low cases should not be a reason why people should let down their guards, with respect to observing the non-pharmaceutical protocols of hand and mouth hygiene.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire during the briefing by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 said: “Nigeria recorded just two new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, giving us a total of 167,467 confirmed cases as at today, out of 2,266,591 samples tested, with a test positivity rate of one percent.

“We shall endeavor to increase testing rate to improve our case finding early for isolation and treatment. In the past 4 weeks, we have done 40,000 to 50,000 samples weekly, with 949 confirmed. We have sadly lost 2,119 persons.

“Nigeria has so far escaped the worst of Covid-19 and the dire predictions made about us. We may even seem to be doing well, but I wish to emphasize that we must still be on strict preventive alert, because of the COVID-19 3rd wave that is sweeping across the globe.

“Cases have been rising in one African country after the other and health systems are getting stressed in countries like Uganda.”

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