The federal government has directed all the 36 states in the country to put an end to the vaccination exercise after reaching half of the doses allocated to them.
This basically implies that a state that received 80,000 doses would have to stop the vaccination once the doses reach 40,000 in order for those who have received their first jab to be able to complete their vaccination.
Dr Faisal Shuaibu, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency announces the development to all the states.
It was gathered that a possible delay in the supply of the next batch of the AstraZeneca vaccines which could affect the availability of the vaccine for a second jab for those who have taken the first facilitate the development.
The shortage of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the international market is caused by a surge in the demand by the European Union and a new policy by India which manufactures the vaccine. India had said last week that it would prioritise domestic vaccination for its over 1.2 billion citizens, thereby causing a shortage in developing nations like Nigeria.
The Nigerian Government had received 3.9 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines through COVAX, a global initiative co-led by the Global Vaccine Alliance, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and World Health Organisation.
The vaccine arrived in Nigeria on March 2, 2021 while in the second week of March the government began distribution to states, except Kogi, whose governor, Yahaya Bello who insist then that it would not receive the vaccines.
Persons who opt for AstraZeneca vaccines must take two doses which are usually administered at least two months apart. It was learnt that Ekiti, Bauchi and Kwara states had already administered half of their vaccine supply and had complied with the government’s directive to halt further roll-out.