The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, has received the first dose of AstraZeneca Coronavirus jab at the Nigerian Army Headquarters, Abuja.
The vaccine was also administered to other top Principal Staff Officers including the army’s Chief of Policy and Plans, Maj Gen BI Ahanotu, Chief of Administration, Maj Gen AM Aliyu as well as the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Mohammed Yerima.
After the administration of the vaccine, the COAS also received his certificate.
The army chief urged the personnel of the Nigerian Army to endeavour to vaccinate themselves in order to be protected against the pandemic.
Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control had on March 17 insisted that it would not suspend the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because it is better for the government to contend with the minimal side effects of the vaccine than to have deaths from the virus.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, had stated this in an interview, noting that the risks of getting COVID-19 are worse than the risk of getting a vaccine side effect.
“It is logical to think that way but when you come to think of the many hundreds of thousands that are dying, especially in Europe, of COVID disease, then you start wondering, is it better to die than take a risk of 0.00002%?
“I don’t blame (countries halting the administration of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine) but, at the same time, we have to look at the risk of getting COVID-19 disease versus the risk of getting a side effect of the adverse effects,” she had said.
Several countries had earlier suspended AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines amid rising fears over blood clots and other possible side effects.
AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish company that developed the vaccine with Oxford University, had insisted that there was no risk.
On March 11, Denmark said it would suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure over fears of blood clots in vaccinated people.
Iceland and Norway followed suit on the same day, temporarily suspending the use of all the supply of the vaccine, citing similar concerns.
Bulgaria suspended the use of the vaccine on March 12 as it investigates the death of a woman with several underlying conditions who received the jab in the past week.