The National Primary Health Care Development Agency has explained that Nigeria did not receive any batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a suspected side effect, ABV5300.
The Federal Government’s agency made the clarification in a statement made available on its Twitter handle on Thursday.
In the statement titled, ‘Press Statement on concerns about the safety of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine’, NPHCDA urged Nigerians to be confident in the nation’s vaccine programme.
The PUNCH had reported that Nigeria took delivery of about four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines as part of an overall 16 million doses planned to be delivered to the country in batches over the next few months.
Among the prominent Nigerians that have been vaccinated are the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Health workers, governors, members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and other strategic leaders in the country have also been vaccinated.
It read, “We are aware of precautionary concerns that have been raised regarding one specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine, namely ABV5300.
“We understand that investigations are being conducted to determine if the batch is in any way linked to an observed side effect.
“While we await the outcome of the investigations, it is important to clearly state that Nigeria did not receive any doses from the batch of vaccines which is at issue.
“We are satisfied that the clinical evidence indicates the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective.
“Our assessment is in line with countries such as Spain and the UK who have indicated that they will continue to administer the vaccine, because it remains an important tool to protect against COVID-19.
“The safety of vaccines delivered to Nigeria is paramount to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. For this reason, it has enhanced multi-sectoral collaboration among stakeholders and technical entities such as the FMOH, NPHCDA, NAFDAC, WHO and UNICEF, whose cooperation ensures the highest global standards are met for vaccines delivered to Nigeria before they are distributed to Nigerians. Clear, rigorous protocols are being followed to safeguard the health of Nigerians.
“We are continuing to monitor the developments regarding ABV5300 batch and will share further information as it becomes available.
“In the meantime, we encourage Nigerians who are among those being prioritized in the current phase to continue their confidence and enthusiasm for our vitally important national vaccine program. Together, we can save lives.”