COVID-19 Vaccine: Why Nigeria may dump Astrazeneca for Janssen – Official

The federal government of Nigerian has concluded plans to replace the Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine for COVID-19 with the Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, a top health official revealed.

The official said the federal government will no longer order for additional doses of Astrazeneca beyond the initial 3.94 million doses obtained in March 2, 2021.

Dr Stephen John, a director of planning, research and statistics at the Adamawa state ministry of Health and Human services, made this revelation at a function in Yola, Adamawa state.

Dr Johnson was a special guest and key presenter during a 3-day media dialogue on routine immunisation on polio certification and COVID-19 vaccination.

The event which had about 60 journalists, pooled from Lagos, Abuja, Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, in attendance, was organized, jointly by the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information, and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF),

Dr John who is also the incident manager for COVID-19 in Adamawa state said he had a credible information that from the NCDC that Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine by Johnson & Johnson is the next vaccine approved for procurement by the federal government.

The next batch of the vaccine that is going to come, going by what I hear from sources at the national primarily care, is Johnson and Johnson’s Vaccine.

He said discussions have gone far, in that regard, at the NPHCDA.

“We’ve already had our discussion there about Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, and it has an advantage because it is only one doze; it is better than the one that has two shots.

Dr John said medically medications that have single dozes are better administered than the ones that go for twice or more a day.

“So we prefer vaccines that have one shot than the ones that have double shots,” he said.

The Director also clarified that “Nigeria did not suspend” the administration of Oxford Astrazeneca because of any controversy surrounding it.

“It is not that we have suspended it; we haven’t. Those of us that have taken the first jab, still have our second jab waiting for us. In Adamawa state, for example, we received close to 60,000 doses of the vaccines, and about 29,000 persons have taken the vaccine. The remaining doses are still waiting and when it is time for the second jab, they will have them.

He said the government is concentrating on getting the next batch so that it can continue the vaccination.

“The loss of momentum in the vaccine administration has nothing to do with any suspension of the vaccine itself, no. They are looking at the vaccine that is coming, which means we cannot go ahead to administer the whole of the vaccine that we have now because the next one is not AstraZeneca. So the next vaccine that is coming is Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.”

The Humanitarian Times had reported yesterday that the 3-day media dialogue sessions were organised to give practitioners a sense of clarity on the need for routine vaccination; strengthen alliance and partnership with media; provide media with an additional source of information on COVID-19 to disinformation, misinformation and rumour; enlist media support to build trust and confidence in the safety efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine; boost vaccine acceptance by publicising vaccine evidence.

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