PATIENCE IVIE IHEJIRIKA, Abuja
As Nigeria set to commence administration of second dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has advised Nigerians on the need to take the dose.
The health manager, UNICEF Maiduguri, Clement Adams, said the second dose is important because it enhances the efficacy of the vaccine thereby increasing the body’s level of protection against the virus.
Adams gave the advice during a media dialogue on routine immunisation and COVID-19 vaccination, organised by UNICEF in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Yola, Adamawa state.
He said “When you take the first shot, the efficacy is about 62 per cent, when it gets to about two months, the efficacy level increases to about 70 per cent, and at about three months, the efficacy gets to about 81 per cent. That is why you have the take the second dose within the period that the efficacy is high to retain it.
“The second dose is a booster which increases your body’s ability to protect you more.”
“Covid-19 vaccines prompts our bodies to recognise and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, it can cause severe illness or death, said UNICEF’s Communication for Development (C4D) Specialist, Mrs Elizabeth Onitolo.
She said getting vaccinated is one of many steps Nigerians can take to protect themselves and others from the virus.
Onitolo noted that vaccines work with the immune system so that the body will be ready to fight the virus when the person is exposed.
“Widespread use of vaccine can reduce rate of spread in the community and reduce chances of a new variant,” she said.