Nigeria’s vaccination programme encountered a hitch on Thursday as India
suspended all major exports of the Astraženeca-Oxford vaccine from the Serum Institute of India, Sll.
The suspension by India came as the European Union met on Thursday to consider giving member states greater scope to block vaccines being exported outside the block, much of which is struggling to bring infections down and ramp up immunisation campaigns.
It is not known how long the suspension will last, but health watchers say the development is likely to delay the delivery of the nation’s 2nd batch of vaccine supplies expected around the end of March and early April.
The suspension could also delay supplies to other African countries as well as several low and middle-income countries that are relying on India’s production and supply of Covishield, its own version of the AstraZeneca vaccine, manufactured under licence from AstraZeneca of the UK.
It was gathered that the suspension would apply to all vaccines including the AstraZeneca shot on which the EU had originally been relying to meet a goal of inoculating 70 percent of its adult population.
Meanwhile, an update released by the National Pary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, on Thursday showed that a total of 325,514 eligible Nigerians have so far been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine, representing 8.3 per cent of the proportion vaccinated.
A breakdown of the NPHCDA update contained in an Electronic Management of Immunisation Data System, further revealed that Lagos is leading in the exercise with 81,185 persons vaccinated. Two other states trailing Lagos are Ogun, 30,704 and Bauchi, 30,538.