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Lagos begins four million vaccines roll out, dispels rumours of blood clotting, others

By Kehinde Olatunji
04 November 2021   |   3:08 am
Lagos State Government (LASG) through the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (LSPHCB), has commenced massive roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination, while dispelling misconceptions surrounding it.

Lagos State Government (LASG) through the Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board (LSPHCB), has commenced massive roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination while dispelling misconceptions surrounding it.

The roll-out forms part of the massive vaccination campaign to reach a four-million target of getting more Lagosians vaccinated before the end of December.

The process which commenced in the Mainland Local Government Area, under the hash-tag #KosayeCovidLeko (no room for COVID-19 in Lagos), was designed in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA).

It would be recalled that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, last week Wednesday, disclosed the mass vaccination roll-out process to get no less than four million Lagos residents vaccinated before the end of December 2021.

According to him, the move remains sacrosanct in view of possible widespread that may erupt from end-of-the-year festivities.

The Chairman, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Prof. Akin Oshibogun, who spoke at the commencement of the roll-out campaign which kicked off at the Abule Nla Primary Health Centre, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, dispelled rumours around the vaccine, describing it (vaccine) as “safe, efficacious and effective.”

He said intense follow-up for the past four months have been sustained on all vaccinated persons, the result of which he said have proven such rumours of blood clotting, magnetisation and sudden death, amongst others, wrong.

He maintained that blood samples from the “vaccines” have been taken and monitored to detect any case of blood clotting, none of which he said have been found.

Explaining such complaints as effects of pain and fever upon vaccination as natural body reactions to the vaccine, the Chairman described the roving rumours as “tales by the moonlight”

The Permanent Secretary, LSPHCB, Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa, said the massive rollout is a strategic step towards mitigating the effects of COVID-19 with an enlightenment campaign.

He said, “more than we have done, we want to reach more than 60 percent. The Board is committed to triple the efforts on the campaign which started about eight months ago for massive vaccination before December.”

He added that the Board would work alongside religious leaders to convince and urge the people to come out for the vaccination process.

According to the Permanent Secretary, research has revealed that those who have suffered fatalities and illness from the virus recently, were those who have not been vaccinated.

He stressed that against publicity of “adverse reaction”, “it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that the vaccine is safe” and is effective to protect against disease from the virus.

He disclosed that with the roll-out, the vaccine would be available for free in all primary health centres, general hospitals, as well as secondary and tertiary health facilities, while for private health facilities, only a token for service charge is applicable.

Disclosing that the extension of the process to private hospitals was to ensure accessibility for individuals who would prefer accessing private facilities, he said the vaccine remains free while only a charge to take care of the logistics of those private health facilities would be required.

In addition, he disclosed that beyond the hospitals, mobile vaccination sites would be stationed across all the Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas in the State for easy accessibility.

He moreover, called on stakeholders to join hands in the campaign, charging all to pass the message of the launching to the localities.

In his remarks, World Health Organisation (WHO), Yield Presence Team Leader, Lagos Liaison Office, Dr. Ahmed Khedr, commended the state government’s approach towards containing the spread of the virus.

According to him, though the State has remained the epicentre in Nigeria, the firm approach in case management has constituted a prototype for other States in the Federation to follow.

He maintained that the expertise of Lagos in emergency response has placed the State at the foremost in the profile of disease control management in the Country.

He assured the support of WHO in response to development plans for health care management in the State.

Health Specialist-Immunisation, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Asnakew Yigwa, mentioned that just like other vaccination processes as that of immunisation, Lagos has remained at the top of COVID-19 vaccination in the country, stressing that the State is significantly leading excellently in COVID-19 vaccination.

He called on members of the public to optimise the opportunities for community members to be vaccinated, adding that the extension of the process to private health facilities is a welcome development

He assured UNICEF would continue to offer support towards the mass vaccination process.

Represented by the Director, Disease Control and Immunisation, Dr. Bassey Okposu, the Executive Secretary, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib commended Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for what he described as an “outstanding performance and support” in the prudent management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

Dispelling the rumour of hazards attached to the vaccine, he said no ill reports have been identified from follow up on those who have been vaccinated.

Lamenting that about 2,840 persons who would have contributed positively to the country’s economy have been lost to the virus in Nigeria, he called on all to take advantage of the rollout.

He further mentioned that there are numbers of persons who have contracted the virus within the localities who have not been confirmed positive having not assessed health facilities for the COVID-19 test.

Speaking on the need for enlightenment, he called on community leaders to enlighten members within their jurisdiction, stressing the vaccine is “free and safe.”

Pharmacist Rahman Kilani, Director Vaccines, CHAI, said Lagos State has remained at the forefront with a mass campaign to contain the spread of the virus.

On enlightenment, he said it was better for the masses to be vaccinated than to get sick with the virus.