As many Nigerians have refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) has warned of long-term side effects of the infection.
Executive director of the NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said though it is possible for some people to recover from COVID 19 infection but they may end up with long-term side effects which have significant social, psychological and economic effects on individuals and the communities.
He said :For those who feel they can easily recover from COVID-19 if contracted, yes this is possible but for some who get this virus, they may recover from the acute phase of the infection but still have long term side effects of this disease.
“This is known as “long COVID” which has a significant impact on the quality of lives of people affected by it.
“The syndrome is defined by persistent symptoms such as tiredness, palpitations, shortness of breath, muscle fatigue, chronic cough, lack of sleep and brain fog found 12 weeks after the initial infection.
“The functional impairment associated with long COVID has significant social, psychological and economic effects on individuals and the communities. In addition, management of this syndrome is likely to continue to be an additional burden on the already heavily strained healthcare systems.
He, therefore called on all Nigerians to know that the COVID-19 vaccines are available, free and effective.
Faisal noted that “Vaccines don‘t save lives, vaccinations save lives. A vaccine is of no benefit if it sits on the shelf and does not actually get deployed or if the arms of the eligible population are not available for vaccination.
“I therefore urge all persons aged 18 years and above including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers who are yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccines or who are due for their second or booster dose to visit the nearest health facility and get vaccinated.
“Striving to vaccinate 70 per cent of the eligible population of every country remains essential for bringing the pandemic under control and Nigeria is working hard to ensure its citizens have access to the lifesaving vaccines.”