AstraZeneca vaccine is safe but with ‘mild’ side effects says NAFDAC
Nigeria’s drug regulators has said a few Nigerians have had mild side effects after taking a jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine noting that despite this the vaccine is safe.
The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) boss Mojisola Adeyeye said at least five people who took the vaccine from the National Hospital in Abuja experienced side effects like fever, chills, stomach rumbling and pain.
She said the AstraZeneca vaccine is not the first to be used under emergency authorization, explaining that other COVID-19 vaccines have been reported to have had adverse effects on people who took the shots.
“People are dying of COVID-19,” the NAFDAC boss said during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily. “The vaccines should not be stopped unless it is a statistically massive occurrence [side effects].”
Nigerians have raised concerns on why the government is yet to stop the vaccination in the country despite the reports on side effects.
Adeyeye said the vaccine might not be the problem but allergies. She shares the same sentiment with the World Health Organization (WHO).
“More than 335 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered globally so far, and no deaths have been found to have been caused by COVID-19 vaccines,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Friday during an online news briefing.
“As of now we are confident that we should go ahead,” WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, referring to the use of the AstraZeneca jab.
The NAFDAC boss said doctors should ask first if the person has an allergy and should get ready any drugs necessary to treat the allergy.
She said the AstraZeneca vaccine is not the first to be used under an emergency authorization, stating that other COVID-19 vaccines have also been reported to have had adverse effects on people who took the shots.
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Sweden and Latvia on Tuesday became the latest nations to stop the rollout, following moves by Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, and The Netherlands, among others.
South Africa has also suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccine over fears that it is less effective against the strain of the virus in the country.
The AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Nigeria on March 2nd and the vaccination campaign started on March 5th. The government has also said it will not depending on the AstraZeneca vaccine alone.