The Federal government has announced plans to adopt the whole family” approach in the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination in order to integrate the exercise into other basic Primary Health Care (PHC) services.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
The exercise according to Dr. Shuaib is expected to cover PHC services like childhood vaccination, screening for hypertension, diabetes and malnutrition.
He said this would ensure that while protecting eligible Nigerians against COVID-19, the agency also would be concerned about the total health of individuals and their entire family.
He said this would further enhance acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine across the country.
Speaking on the brands of COVID-19 vaccines available in Nigeria, he said that as of August 10, 2021, the country had received 4,000,080 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, donated by Government of the United States of America.
He, however, said that the country was expecting additional vaccines between August and September 2021, including Oxford AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.
Shuaib stated that while the agency was hopeful and well-prepared to roll out the second phase vaccination plan, it was by no means oblivious of the fact that there were challenges ahead, especially now that the country had started receiving different brands of COVID-19 vaccines.
“We are aware that Nigerians would want to know if there is a preferred brand. Let me assure everyone that COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of brand, as long as they have been approved by NAFDAC, provide adequate protection against the disease.
“We want to further assure Nigerians that we have strategised with our partners so that there is no confusion on which vaccines will be given to whom.
“For example, all those who have taken their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines and are due for their 2nd dose would be given their second dose in this month of August as we are expecting up to 588,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility.
Shuaib stressed that only person who is 18 years and above is eligible to receive Moderna or any other brand of COVID-19 vaccine available.
According to him, it is pertinent to state that mixing one brand of vaccine with another brand in first and second dose is not allowed.
“Those who have received AstraZeneca as first dose should receive AstraZeneca as second dose, while those who will receive Moderna as first dose will receive Moderna as second dose when due.
He said that settlements, houses of traditional rulers, markets, motor parks and other places where people congregate would be reached out in the second phase.
He therefore urged Nigerians to ensure they complete their doses for full protection.
He called further assured Nigerians that the vaccines that they have are safe and will be deployed next week as earlier communicated.