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FG certifies Moderna COVID-19 safe, reschedules second vaccination for Aug 16

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A person holds a vial of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine (Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP)

The relevant health authorities, including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), have certified that the four million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated to Nigeria by the United States government through the COVAX facility are safe and efficacious for administration on Nigerians.

Speaking at the bi-weekly ministerial press conference yesterday in Abuja, NAFDAC’s Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, observed that the agency painstakingly monitored all incoming vaccines.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who also confirmed the safety of the jab, stated that the current administration had not approved private importation of vaccines neither does it procure doses from private sources.

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On his part, NPHCDA’s Executive Director, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, confirmed that Nigeria is rolling out the second phase of the vaccination on August 16 sequel to the successful completion of the first phase with Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine as against to
day’s earlier date.

Director of Press, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willie Bassey, had at weekend announced plans by the Presidential Steering committee on COVID-19 (PSC) to commence the exercise today.

But in another notice, he said the programme had been postponed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Titled ‘Postponement of phase II of national vacation programme’, the circular reads: This is to announce the postponement of the national flag-off exercise of phase II vaccination programme earlier scheduled for Tuesday this week due to unforeseen circumstances. A new date will be communicated, please.”

Bassey added: “PSC needs to secure NAFDAC’s confirmation of the vaccine safety and efficacy before it can be administered on Nigerians, and the outcome of the screening has not been made public. ”

Nigeria had a week ago received over four million doses of Moderna vaccine donated by the United States government through the COVAX facility.

U.S. President, Joe Biden, had in May pledged to share 80 million vaccines with countries around the world to protect the most vulnerable, with Africa billed to receive 25 million of the total.

The Federal Government, in March, received four million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, leading to the successful vaccination of 3,938,945 eligible persons across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and representing 98 per cent utilisation.

Just like AstraZeneca jab, two shots of the Moderna vaccines are administered through intramuscular injection about 28 days apart.

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