COVID-19: 2.3 million register for vaccination in 24 hours

In the wake of the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines to Nigeria, about 2.3 million Nigerians have registered for COVID-19 vaccination 24 hours after a portal or that purpose was launched, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) said on Wednesday.

The portal allows Nigerians to choose a health facility that is closest to them to get vaccinated and generate a unique pre-vaccination identifier issued via the agency’s website

NPHCDA Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Dr Faisal Shuaib, said: “Nigerians are showing enthusiasm about wanting to take the vaccines.”

Shuaib said the vaccination must not be delayed, as that may increase the virus mutation and resistance to vaccines.

He said during an interview on Channels: “The AstraZeneca vaccine was paused in South Africa because it was found from a study that it was not effective against the South African strain (B 1.351) of the COVID-19. But that strain is the dominant strain in South Africa.

“The NCDC, working with other research institutions, has been looking for this strain in Nigeria but has not found it.

“What has been found in Nigeria are a few strains of the UK virus. The UK virus is susceptible to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Therefore, we will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“This underscores the need for us to roll out the vaccination on time because the more we delay the vaccination, the higher the tendency that these viruses will mutate and will become resistant to the vaccine,” he added.

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