.Harps on adherence to protocols
.Plans to vaccinate till 2022
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Barely six days into the commencement of the COVID vaccination exercise in Lagos State, residents have continued to troop out to various dedicated sites leading to an increase in activities of medical personnel.
The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, revealed this on Sunday after reviewing the report of the weeklong phase one vaccination rollout campaign in the state.
The exercise is scheduled to resume on Monday, March 22, 2021, at the 88 approved vaccination sites across the state.
According to Abayomi, “We understand that there is a great demand for the COVID vaccine in Lagos leading to increase in activities at our various vaccination sites, this has brought to fore the need to ensure strict adherence to COVID protocols as well as accountability and security for officials, citizens and the cold chain mechanism at the sites.
“We want to avoid crowding and the resultant spread of the COVID inspection at the vaccination sites, this is why we are appealing to persons who are not categorized in phase one of the vaccination exercise to keep off the vaccination sites.
“It is therefore important to reiterate that the state government through the Ministry of Health remain committed to preventing COVID-19 infection and would not encourage a scenario where people are vulnerable to the transmission through overcrowded vaccination centres.
“Lagosians should be patient, we will vaccinate everybody eventually but there is the need for citizens to support the government by following the vaccination implementation plan to ensure a successful exercise. We plan to vaccinate this year into 2022.”
Abayomi therefore urged eligible persons who fit into the first phase of the vaccination exercise to observe and ensure strict adherence to COVID protocols and instructions given by officials when they visit the vaccination sites.
The state government also reiterated that only persons who fit into phase one of the vaccination exercise which include; healthcare workers, COVID-19 response team (RRT), ports of entry staff, laboratory network, judiciary, military, police, other security agencies, petrol station workers, teachers, press, other frontline workers and persons of age 70 years above will be attended to at the vaccination sites as from Monday.
He advised eligible persons who are scheduled to be vaccinated under phase one of the exercise to maintain a social distance of at least two meters, wear a face mask and ensure proper hand hygiene at the vaccination sites.
The commissioner while noting that the COVID19 protocols are still in place especially at public places and events requiring the gathering of people, stated that security personnel have been stationed at vaccination sites to provide security, maintain order and ensure adherence to protocols.
Abayomi also urged eligible citizens who fit into Phase one of the vaccination exercise to pre-register for the vaccine via https://www.nphcdaict.com.ng or https://www.vaccination.gov.ng before proceeding to any of the vaccination sites for a quick and seamless process.
Speaking on the safety and side effect of the vaccine, the commissioner stated that the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine has been declared safe by the World Health Organization and okayed by NAFDAC for administration.
According to him, “Like most vaccines, the Oxford-AstraZeneca also have some common side effects, which typically only last for 24 to 48 hours.
“Some of these common adverse events that could be experienced include; pain or tenderness at the injection site, tiredness, chills, joint pains, headache, fever, muscle pain and nausea.
“Health workers have been extensively trained on the administration of the vaccine and vaccine safety and the aftercare of vaccination. Should any of these side effects become problematic, kindly call the number of the LGA Disease Surveillance Notification Officer (DSNO) provided at the back of the vaccination card for guidance, and return to the same health facility where the vaccine was administered for further investigations and treatment.
“All vaccinated persons are also advised to download the MED SAFETY app monitored by NAFDAC. The app can be downloaded on the iOS Store or Google Play store, and can be used to report any untoward event experienced after vaccination or any other Adverse Drug Reactions experienced with the use of concomitant drugs.”
He noted that the objective of the phased rollout plan is to vaccinate people who are vulnerable to the COVID infection.
Recall that the State Government had expressed satisfaction over the turnout of residents for the COVID-19 vaccination exercise, describing it as “impressive and encouraging.”
At least 12,720 residents in Lagos had received the first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine within 48 hours when the exercise was flagged off in the state.
The vaccination precisely started on March 12 at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba with 88 other accredited centres in the 20 local government areas starting on March 15, 2021.
The state had earlier received 507,000 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the Federal Government for administration in the first phase.