Anxiety strikes as more European nations suspend COVID-19 vaccine

Anxiety strikes as more European nations suspend the COVID-19 vaccine due to health risks associated with receiving the drug. 

NPHCDA defends vaccine, NAFDAC recommends 14 herbal medicines

As Nigerians came to understand yesterday, anxiety that no fewer than seven countries have suspended the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine the citizens have been receiving. The suspension happened as a result of the fact that the vaccine causes blood clotting and other health issues. According to the American Cable News Network Cable (CNN) information, The countries that have suspended the use of the vaccine include Denmark, Iceland, and Norway. Based on the health claims, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is carrying out an investigation.

Just yesterday, Italy, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,, and Latvia also stopped administering the vaccine. Danish officials, however, did not specify whether the deaths reported were connected to the vaccine that was administered. 

The European nation announced a two-week suspension yesterday based on reports of blood clotting. Iceland and Norway also followed suit but they did not state long their breaks would last.

In a statement yesterday, AstraZeneca said patient safety was its “highest priority.”The Guardian could not reach the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib and Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, for comments despite several calls, text and WhatsApp messages.

A recent statement issued by the Head, Public Relations Unit of NPHCDA said: “We are satisfied that the clinical evidence indicates the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective. Our assessment is in line with countries such as Spain and the UK. Spain and UK have indicated that they will continue to administer the vaccine, majorly because it remains a vital tool to protect against COVID-19.”

Conversely, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) president, Prof. Innocent Ujah, said: “You need to know and establish the reason for suspension of the vaccine in those countries before contemplating anything.”

Will Nigeria also suspend the use? We are yet to know.

Dr. Lolu Ojo, A consultant pharmacist and medical director of Merit Healthcare, told The Guardian: “Nigeria may not have to stop administering the AstraZeneca vaccine because some other countries had done so. That will be a panic reaction, which is unscientific.

However, the EMA has approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use within the European Union. The U.S.-produced one-shot vaccine has become the fourth to be granted permission by the regulator, with the EU already ordering 400 million doses.

Meanwhile, about 14 COVID-19 herbal medicines have been introduced for use in Nigeria by NAFDAC. According to the Nigerian regulatory body, herbal medicine is safe for consumption, although its level of efficacy is to be determined during clinical tests.

Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director-General, disclosed that his organization conducted a diligent study on the vaccine. He confirmed that it is “safe and efficacious for use against COVID-19 virus.” in Abuja after receiving a jab of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 


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