The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine delivered to Nigeria is safe.
On March 2, Nigeria had taken delivery of 3,924,000 doses of the vaccine, procured via the UN-led COVAX facility.
Speaking with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara capital, on Saturday, Baba Issa, the NMA chairman in the state, advised Nigerians to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
His comment comes as a result of rising concerns about the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as 10 European countries have suspended administration of the doses, following claims of blood clotting after usage.
However, according to NAN, Issa assured Nigerians that the batch delivered to the country is safe and effective.
“It depends on the vaccine that they are taking, but the one we have in Nigeria made by AstraZeneca company is known to be safe and efficacious,” he said.
“That is why Nigeria has keyed into it and the Kwara government has taken delivery of some doses of this vaccine.
“So, I’ll advise people to take it. It is safe and it is very effective.”
The NMA chairman explained that when many people get vaccinated and become immune to the virus, it can speed up the development of herd immunity.
He also advised that those vaccinated against the virus must continue to observe the COVID-19 protocol, such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks and washing of hands.
“Herd immunity is resistance to the spread of an infectious disease within a population that is based on pre-existing immunity of a high proportion of individuals, as a result of previous infection or vaccination,” he explained.
Issa added that though the number of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kwara were not enough, more are expected, as the target is to vaccinate as many people as possible.