FG Directs Continuation of Vaccination as Eight Countries Suspend Rollout

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FG Directs Continuation of Vaccination as Eight Countries Suspend Rollout
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu
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The Federal Government has said it would continue to administer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine despite its suspension by eight European countries over concerns of possible fatal side effects.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, in an interview with Punch in Abuja, noted that suspending the vaccine at this point would amount to a fire brigade approach.

A prominent virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori also said in an interview with Punch that there was no need for panic.

It comes on the heels of the reception of the vaccine by the Federal Government on Tuesday last week from the COVAX facility, an initiative co-anchored by the Vaccine Alliance, GAVI and the World Health Organisation.

However, fears were raised on Thursday by an international news channel. France24, when they reported that seven European countries including Denmark, Norway, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg – suspended all or part of its rollout as a precaution while they investigated concerns relating to blood clots and other side effects caused by the vaccine.a

Also, BBC had reported that Iceland suspended the vaccine, making the total number of countries eight.

The decision to suspend all AstraZeneca vaccinations for two weeks was taken by Danish health authorities after a 60-year old woman who had been vaccinated formed a blood clot and died, France24 reports.

The move “follows reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine”, Danish health authorities said in a statement.

But the country cautiously added that “it has not been determined, at the time being, that there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.”

The measure was also taken by Norway after Austria had earlier Austria announced it had suspended the use of a batch of AstraZeneca vaccines after a 49-year-old nurse died of “severe blood coagulation problems” days after receiving an anti-COVID-19 shot.”

In his reaction on Thursday evening, the Minister of State for Health,  Mamora, said Nigeria would continue to administer the vaccine.

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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