The Federal Government has said the Pfizer vaccine is the recommended vaccine to be administered as COVID-19 booster shots to Nigeria starting from Friday (today).
Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), announced this at the flag-off of the mass vaccination of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs) on Thursday.
The Federal Government had on 3 December announced that Nigerians who have completed two doses of AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech or one dose of Johnson & Johnson are eligible to receive the booster shots from 10 December (today).
Speaking on the development on Thursday, Shuaib stated that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved as booster shots.
“Following the detection of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the federal government reviewed the country’s vaccination programme and resolved to introduce the booster dose using the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine across the country.
“It is pertinent to reiterate the fact that the Nigerian COVID-19 vaccination programme is science-driven. Evidence has shown that the booster dose further increases protection against the virus,” he said.
Providing further clarification, Yanda Muhammad, NPHCDA spokesman, said the Pfizer vaccine booster shots can be received who have been inoculated with complete doses of the vaccine, irrespective of the vaccine brands received.
“Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine recommended for booster vaccination regardless of previous brands of vaccines taken,” Muhammad told TheCable.
In a related development, the United States Embassy has received 2.5 million Pfizer vaccine doses in Abuja, which were presented to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for cold storage.
The vaccines will be distributed to over 3,000 health facilities across the country.
The statement issued by the US mission read: “To date, the United States has donated more than 13.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with COVAX, or bilaterally to Nigeria.
“Additionally, the United States has provided more than $119 million in COVID-19 related health assistance. This includes a 40-bed mobile field hospital, ventilators and related training for 88 hospitals, personal protective equipment, technical assistance for vaccine readiness, risk communication and demand generation for vaccines, conducting an epidemiological COVID-19 detection and vaccine hesitancy survey, setting up electronic record systems, rapid response teams, training for over 200,000 military and civilian personnel on COVID-19 control measures, and technology for virtual training.”