By Paul Ajayi
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) says there is no scientific evidence suggesting COVID-19 vaccination can cause infertility in men or women.
The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, told News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), on Thursday in Abuja that the COVID-19 vaccination among populations of reproductive age was safe.
”All available COVID-19 vaccines have demonstrated high efficacy among their respective clinical trial endpoints.
”Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have symptomatic infection or transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others,” he said.
He called on obstetrician- gynecologists and other women’s health care practitioners to lead by example by being vaccinated and encouraging eligible patients to be vaccinated as well.
“We recommend that pregnant individuals and lactating individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“While a conversation with a clinician may be helpful, it is not a requirement prior to vaccination, as this may cause unnecessary barriers to access.
“Pregnancy testing is not a requirement to receiving any of the approved COVID-19 vaccine by the World Health Organization(WHO),” he explained.
The NPHCDA boss, urged obstetrician–gynecologists to address ongoing questions and concerns and offer subsequent office visits by pregnant and lactating individuals across the country.
“Expected side effects should be explained as part of counseling patients, including that these are a normal part of the body’s reaction to the vaccine and developing antibodies to protect against COVID-19 illness,” he said.
Shuaib explained that COVID-19 vaccines may be administered simultaneously with other vaccines, including within 14 days of receipt of another vaccine.
“This includes vaccines routinely administered during pregnancy, such as influenza and Tdap,” he noted.
The NPHCDA, however said that it was important to note that COVID-19 vaccine development and regulatory approval was a rapidly changing process, and information and recommendations would evolve as more data were collected about these vaccines and their use in specific populations across the globe.
”Let me assure all Nigerians, that all vaccines certified by NAFDAC are highly effective against COVID-19 virus, including the Delta variant.
”And also, to reiterate the fact that the Federal Government does not approve mixing of different brands of COVID-19 vaccine.
”The same vaccine must be taken for both first and second doses,” he said.
NAN reports that the available COVID-19 vaccines in the country are Moderna mRNA- vaccine: for use in individuals age 18 and older as a two-dose regimen given 1 month (28 days) apart.
Janssen Biotech Inc (Johnson & Johnson) monovalent vaccine (Ad26.COV2.S): for use in individuals age 18 and older as a single dose regimen and Oxford- AstraZeneca vaccine, recommended dosage is two doses given intramuscularly (0.5ml each) with an interval of eight to 12 weeks.
Each of these vaccines appeared to have high efficacy in clinical trials among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories and among persons with underlying medical conditions.