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AstraZeneca Vaccine: 8,491 adverse effects recorded in Nigeria –FG

…says 8,439 reactions mild,52 reactions moderate/severe

Out of over a million persons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Nigeria, a total of 8,491 persons have suffered various degrees of adverse effects after taking the vaccination. While 8,439 persons suffered mild reactions, also known as Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI) such as body pains, nausea, and swelling, 52 others were not so lucky, as they had moderate and severe reactions of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made this known during a joint press briefing with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday in Abuja, said Kaduna State recorded the highest rate of the reactions with 970 cases, followed by Cross River State with 859 cases, Yobe 541 cases, Kebbi 511 cases, while Lagos recorded 448 cases of adverse events.

Shuaib however insisted that so far, there has been no case of death or blood clot recorded from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccination in the country, he maintained that the vaccination rollout in the country has been marked by safety, efficiency, best practice, and speed. He said: “When incidents, no matter how rare, appear in populations receiving the vaccine, relevant authorities must investigate to determine whether there may be a connection between the medical incident and the vaccine. “At this stage, different countries are taking different approaches.

In Nigeria, since the vaccination programme was officially rolled out on 15th of April 2021, a total of 8,439 mild adverse events following immunization (AEFI) have been reported. These range from pain, swelling at the site of the inoculation, to body pains and nausea.

“Similarly, 52 cases of moderate to severe incidents of AEFI have been reported. These presented as fever, vomiting, diarrhea headaches, dizziness and allergic reactions. “There has been no death from administration of the vaccine. We have also not diagnosed any case of blood clots related to the administration of the vaccines.

“Nevertheless, we are working with NAFDAC, NCDC and other relevant agencies to set up a more active surveillance system built on our experience with polio surveillance.” Shuaib who disclosed that the challenges encountered in Kogi State have been resolved by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said 16,900 vaccines have been delivered and that the Covid-19 vaccination campaign has been launched in the state. While noting that inoculation of frontline health workers have been completed in many states and vaccination has proceeded to the elderly, particularly those within the age of 65 years and above, he expressed worry that some persons were skipping the eligibility lines to access the vaccines before it got to their turn. “We are not unaware of attempts by individuals who are not eligible to access the vaccines. With willing accomplices, it will not be surprising that some may succeed.”

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