Meanwhile, the federal government said it has concluded the training of about 40,739 health workers across the country for the phase two strategic vaccine roll out.
Nigeria had received 4,000,080 doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of the United States, last Sunday, and has scheduled the commencement of the second phase of vaccination for August 16.
While addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said the country would be receiving 176,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines today.
He said: “These 176,000 doses as you are aware, are coming out of the 29,850,000 doses that the federal government procured from the AfreximBank through the African Union.”
Speaking on preparations for the take-off of the second phase of the COVID19 vaccination campaign, Shuaib said the agency was training 40,739 health workers across the country.
“We are currently wrapping up the training of about 40,739 health workers across the national, state and ward levels on our phase two strategic vaccine roll out plan with focus on improving the delivery, communication, data management, management of the vaccines and logistics that are needed.
“A total of 3,363 teams will be used; 2,690 teams manning the fixed post and 673 manning temporary fixed post which will go from settlement to settlement especially around areas where people will congregate. For example, the houses of the traditional leaders, the markets and motor parks,” he said.
On the criteria for administering the Modena vaccine, Shuaib said any person who is 18 years and above would be eligible to receive it or any other brand of COVID-19 vaccine available.
However, he said it was pertinent to state that mixing one brand of vaccine with another brand in first and second dose is not allowed.
“Those who have received AstraZeneca as first dose should receive AstraZeneca as second dose, while those who will receive Moderna as first dose will receive Moderna as second dose when due. In a few days, we will take delivery of additional AstraZeneca vaccine and those who are due for second dose of the vaccine will be prioritised,” he said.
He added, “Moderna is two doses, four weeks apart; Oxford AstraZeneca is two doses with six to 12 weeks apart; and Pfizer is two doses, three weeks apart.”
He however added that brands such as Johnson and Johnson would require a single dose for full protection against the virus.
According to Shuaib, the initial doses of Johnson and Johnson would be focused on those who are in the hard-to-reach areas (riverine areas, desert areas) and the elderly because they are people who may find it difficult to leave their homes to the health facility for a second dose.
Shuaib assured Nigerians of the high quality COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of brand.
“As long as they have been approved by NAFDAC, they provide adequate protection against the disease. We want to further assure Nigerians that we have strategised with our partners so that there is no confusion on which vaccines will be given to whom.
“For example, all those who have taken their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccines and are due for their second dose would be given theirs this August as we are expecting up to 588,800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the COVAX facility.
“This is the first batch that will be coming in the next couple of days. Thereafter, we will be expecting up to 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines to complement what we already have and to make sure we cover not only those who will be taking their second AstraZeneca vaccine, but also for those who will want to take their first dose of this vaccine,” he said.
Shuaib explained that the reason government had to postpone the launch date of the vaccine was because it wants NPHCDA in conjunction with NAFDAC to trace all the way to health facility where the vaccines would be administered.
World Health Organisation’s (WHO), Country Representative, Dr. Walter Kazadi Mulombo, said the world body would continue to support government to implement measures that would maximise the impact of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination, including simplifying the roll out at local levels as well as minimising wastage.