• Saturday, July 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Moderna second doses delayed on NAFDAC screening – Lagos

Moderna second doses delayed on NAFDAC screening – Lagos

Those waiting to receive their second doses of the Moderna vaccine in Lagos will get it as quickly as the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) ends screening of the vaccine, Ibrahim Mustafa, permanent secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, has said.

He says large consignments of Moderna vaccines were available in the country and will be ready for rollout in the next few days.

The results of the test conducted on the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine take three to four days to get ready, according to NAFDAC.

“The vaccines come to us from Abuja. We have enough Moderna in the country but as usual, when you have these vaccines just arrived you need to be sure that they are suitable for use in your population, and the only agency that is saddled with authentication is NAFDAC,” Mustafa states, calming fears of Lagosians worried about the scarcity of Moderna second dose after their appointments were due.

“So, right now the vaccines are with NAFDAC. Once NAFDAC has done the test and signed it up, we will distribute it. That should happen in the next few days,” he says.

Booster doses

He states also that those seeking to get “booster COVID-19 doses” can visit any of the 183 vaccination sites approved during the second phase of the vaccine rollout.

However, the shots are now in short supply a few days after the Federal Government kicked off the administration of booster doses on December 10, Mustapha says, noting that more doses are expected at an unspecified date.

“For the boosters, you should go to where you got your two doses. People being given booster doses are those that had first and second doses. The 183 centres used are the ones people can go back to for booster shots,” he informs.

A COVID-19 booster shot is an additional dose of a vaccine given after the protection provided by the original shot(s) has begun to decrease over time.

Those who can receive boosters are adults 18 years or older and received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at least two months ago; or received both required doses of the Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or 16 or older and received both required doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.

The renewed surge in coronavirus cases in the country, driven by the Omicron variant has jerked many into a rush for vaccination, with fully vaccinated people demanding booster shots.

Recent data from the National Centre for Disease Control show that new confirmed cases increased by 4.6 percent to 2, 859 from 530 (0.5%) during the week ended December 12.

Lagos accounts for more than 50 percent of these cases.

Read also: Covid-19 vaccines demand in Africa still higher than supply – PERC

The rate of infections in the state over the past 32 days, beginning the fourth wave of COVID-19, blew from 0.1 percent to 23.5 percent as of December 19, Akin Abayomi, Lagos commissioner for health, said on Monday.

He said cumulative doses of roughly 2 million vaccine doses had been administered in Lagos, the breakdown being over 1.3 million AstraZeneca and over half-million Moderna doses.

This implies Nigeria’s epicentre of the coronavirus spread has only 3 percent of over 20-million population vaccinated and approximately 14 million doses away from its herd immunity

Some half-vaccinated were thrown into confusion in the past week as the unavailability of second jabs lingered without an update as of the due date from the state government. Others worried about the implication of missing jabs on their health.

Sade Ona, summed up her disappointment in a message on social media, saying, “What would have been super useful on the website is if each centre clearly stated what vaccine it had…available. It’s been a shit show trying to get a second dose of Moderna in Lagos.”