The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has revealed that thus far, Nigeria has not recorded any death relating to the administration of the COVID-19 vaccines. Executive Director of NPHCDA Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made this known on Thursday in Abuja during the weekly COVID-19 vaccination briefing, however, stressed that mild to severe symptoms which were time limited should be expected within the first three days following vaccination. According to him, there was an ongoing study by the Agency, led by Prof Akin Osibogun, a Professor of Community Medicine at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital in six States; Anambra, Borno, Edo, Katsina, Lagos and Plateau, to monitor safety of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
He disclosed that out of 1,284 adults enrolled in the study, 52.6% of enrollees reported non-serious adverse effects and only 1 subject or 0.08% reported serious adverse effects in the first week following vaccination, clarifying that none of the enrolled subjects who reported adverse effects required hospitalization.
He said: “The commonest reported symptoms among vaccinees were tenderness at injection site 20.9% and fever 20.3%. Most of the reported symptoms (55.5%) occurred within the first three days of vaccination while 40.2% of the vaccinees with reported symptoms could not recall time of onset of symptoms. “Adverse Effects Following Immunization were reported more in the older age groups with 61.5% of those older than 60years reporting symptoms compared to 34.9% of those aged 18-24 years.
“The difference for age was statistically significant (p=0.003). Those with pre-existing morbidities were also observed to have higher rates of reported symptoms (AEFIs) than those without pre-existing morbidities even though the observed difference was not statistically significant (p=0.551),” he explained. Shuaib, who assured that NPHCDA was putting measures in place to ensure close and effective monitoring and supervision of any participating private health facilities to ensure standards were not compromised, however, said interested private health facilities would be required to meet certain criteria including having the requisite qualified health care workers, among others. UNICEF Nigeria Representative, Dr. Peter Hawkins, said the data of vaccinated people presented shows an improvement from what was presented last week.