19:34 GMT13 April 2021
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    JOHANNESBURG (Sputnik) - Nigeria’s health agency has defended the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine as an "important tool to protect against COVID-19" after several nations paused its use over fears of adverse effects.

    Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) specified that the country had not received any doses from the batch in question. The agency added that side effects reported by those who have been administered the vaccine in the country have been mild.

    "We are satisfied that the clinical evidence indicates that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective. Our assessment is in line with countries such as Spain and the UK who have indicated that they will continue to administer the vaccine, because it remains an important tool to protect against COVID-19," it further stated.

    The NPHCDA urged Nigerians who are among those being prioritized in the current phase to "continue their confidence and enthusiasm for our vitally important vaccine program."

    A number of European countries have suspended vaccination with the AstraZeneca drug either from the ABV5300 batch or in its entirety as a precaution after reports of severe side-effects, including blood clots, following inoculations from the batch. The European Medicines Agency says there is currently no indication that the reported negative effects were caused by the vaccination.

    Tags:
    COVID-19, Nigeria, AstraZeneca
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